I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. When we leave the house, we keep him in a kennel in our bedroom. When we go on vacations, we have a pet sitter (that is her full time job) come-by the house to let him out to the yard, feed him etc. We have had the same pet sitter for his entire life. A couple of months ago our dog acted aggressively when the sitter came to let him out of his kennel immediately after the pet sitter let him, our dog bit her. Although the bite was not serious, it rattled her enough that she has informed us that she will no longer sit our dog.

After our sitter quit, my wife and I had the idea that we might enlist our babysitter to both house sit and dog sit when we are gone. Our dog is usually out when she sits and she is comfortable being around our dog. We are now concerned that Plan B will not work. On Friday, our babysitter was bringing our children home from school and attempted to let our dog out of his kennel. Our dog acted aggressively and she left the room and returned with our dogs favorite treat but he still acted aggressively. Ultimately, she had our 6-year-old child let the dog out. Our dog acted fine after being released from his kennel but we are concerned about her being able to release him from his kennel without a family member present to help.

Any ideas on how to correct his behaviour? I had an idea to get another kennel to keep him in during vacations and to keep him in another room (my thought was that he might not be as territorial about another kennel in another room). Kenneling him outside of our home does not work very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.
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I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. Whenwe leave the house, we keep him in a kennel ... bite was not serious, itrattled her enough that she has informed us that she will no longer sit our dog.

Let me see if I have this right? When you go on vacation, your dog is locked in a crate, except when someone comes over a couple times a day for a few minutes to *** and eat?
Maybe after 6 years, your dog finally came to the reasonable conclusion that you are miserable bastards, and is planning on ripping your throats out one of these nights.
We can hope.
Kenneling him outside of our home does not work very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked theENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.

He was yelling, "FIND ME A LOVING HOME! MY JAILERS WILL BE BACK SOON!!"
David
I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. When we leave the house, we keep him in a ... very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.

You can try having your sitter stay a while after you get home and do some crate/uncrate exercises. Crate your dog for a few minutes, re-enter the room and have the sitter be the one to open the door while the dog can see you. Do this repeatedly if it works out well the first one or two times. After a week of this then try doing it without you being in the room when she uncrates the dog to see if he'll still allow her to do it. If that goes well then a few days later try letting her crate & uncrate him while you're at home but the dog doesn't know it yet (this way she's not attempting to do something potentially dangerous without help nearby).
If all else fails then you really only have three options. Find a family member to keep the dog in their home, preferably one who won't be away from home often. Take your dog with you on vacation. There are alot of pet friendly hotels in the US. Or don't go on vacation. I'd recommend a boarding place but the likelihood is that your dog will be even more aggressive in such an environment and the staff will be petrified to go near him.

Tara
I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. When weleave the house, we keep him in a kennel ... very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.

Two things:
1) Get the dog medically checked. We had a very tame and slightly timid doggo unexplainably aggressive over the course of a few months. I ended up taking him to 3 different vets with no help of any kind coming from it. He died. He had a growth on the brain which the vert said could have been there at birth but because he was growing, it had room to expand without hurting the dog as a pup. When his skull became rigid around 2.5 years old, that is when the aggression started. It started with aggression to our other dog, one he used to share the same bone with at the same time. Worth getting the dog checked in case there is something medically wrong that you cant immediately see.2) If nothing medically wrong in the end, with a big sized male as thatbreed is when fully grown, you need a strong and imposing human when the dog becomes like this. I don't mean that the human becomes aggressive but that the human shows no fear and will, as I have had to do before, get down face to face with the dog and growl at it. At one stage I even quickly flipped a big male on his back and then held his throat skin in my mouth and GROWLED pulling at the skin a little with my teeth while holding his body with my hands until he stopped growling.

That got the point across well with this male who was constantly trying to counter my authority over him. At no time was the male I had ever physically hurt but you have to realise with a big male that you can lose him and possibly it can kill someone else if it becomes aggressive and you need to take control of it NOW with no room for movement. I am not a big and strong male but I am agile and strong enough to do what I have described. After that event, I pointedly ignored the dog for a day while he pleaded for attention and then I talked to him etc.

After a few weeks, all was back to normal and no aggression ever again.

Don't ever let a dog try to rule the roost because if it takes it into it's head that a 6 year old child is a threat, can you live with the consequences?
I have only females at the moment and the younger one occasionally plays dominance games on the older one who has never cared one way or the other about that but gets upset when the younger gets too rough. As the elder is
12 and I don't want her hurt in any way, I make sure that they know I am theboss and I consider the elder the next. The younger is getting the idea straight now but the point of this is that with two females who don't get along, it seems a heck of a lot easier, in most instances, to keep them from hurting each other than it does with two males when they are that sized dog.
ALthough the problem sounds behavioral, please do take him in to the vet for some tests. Low level pain can sometimes make dogs grumpy, and there have also been instances of other health issues impacting aggression, like lyme disease.
I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. When we leave the house, we keep him in a ... sitter (that is her full time job) come-by the house to let him out to the yard, feed him etc.

So you get this wonderful healthy big dog and whenever you go out he get's shoved in a crate, if you go on holiday it's crate time again except for a poo and eat now and then. Don't you even take him out on walks and so on?
We have had the same pet sitter for his entire life. A couple of months ago our dog acted aggressively ... was not serious, it rattled her enough that she has informed us that she will no longer sit our dog.

And you're surprised? If he's had six years of that then i'm surprised it took so long. Why ever did you choose to get a dog? Have you thought that maybe your lifestyle just isn't right for this? Maybe you just didn't paint the right picture in your post, but it doesn't come over too well!
Any ideas on how to correct his behaviour?

Have you tried just being around the dog some more, going for a nice walk once or twice a day, paying some kindly attention to him whenever he comes over to have a look at you - that kind of thing. That's pretty simplistic i know, but if the dog isn't happy, you can try to cheer up his life a little first.
I had an idea to get another kennel to keep him in during vacations and to keep him in another ... very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.

That's one stressed dog. I don't think you need to think in terms of tactics to trick the dog, i think it's all much simpler than that.
I have a six-year-old neutered Doberman. We keep him inside. When weleave the house, we keep him in a kennel ... very well, we have done it on two occasions and apparently our dog barked the ENTIRE TIME WE WERE GONE.

I have a few dogs well 6 to date.
Three GSDs that are very destructive.
However I must ask a question.
Why would you keep a six year old dog in a kennel. I am thinking how would you like to be put in a small cage and left. I suffer from fear on being closed in the thought makes me cringe. I have used a cage for a while when my dogs were young to keep them safe. Keeping a dog caged up for hours on end seems so cruel so why have a dog at all.?
The problem you have is a serous attack waiting to happen. The dog is rebelling and very protective.
There is NO way I would put anyone at risk.
What about boarding kennels.
Go away with peace of mind.
Please do not take the risk.
Can you not let him run free in the home.?
Pat.
You and gswork are assuming the dog doesn't like being crated. Many dogs do, particularly if they were raised that way. GSWORK actually makes the assumption that the dog is never let out. I think these are harsh assumptions/judgements. If the dog is destructive when left alone then the solution is to crate him or have the house ruined. If the dog likes being crated (ie in his den) when left alone then the solution is to keep on crating him. Why this scenario has to be viewed negatively or as though the owner is somehow abusing the dog is beyond me.

My 5-6yo Boxer is crated when I'm gone from home. I could put the trashcan away and cover up the pantry where the broken doors are off and she'd be fine but she likes* her crate. If I grab my shoes, keys or purse, regardless of my intentions, she heads straight to the crate and waits for me to come close the door. She won't tolerate me taking the crate down and packing it away either as its *her place, all her own, and where she feels safe. She's not a unique case so I wish people would stop assuming that crated dogs are miserable or being cruelly treated.

Tara
She won't tolerate me taking the crate down and packing it away either as its her place, all her own, and where she feels safe.

heaven forbid! i rearranged some furniture and junk yesterday. the dogs were outside playing while i moved things around, which included putting harriet's crate in the bedroom. i didn't think much about it, but after i let them in, harriet paced and paced and paced. i started to get worried that something was wrong with her. and then it hit me. oh! i took her to the bedroom and she wiggled and pogoed and thoroughly inspected her crate. once she knew where it was, she was just fine.
She's not a unique case so I wish people would stop assuming that crated dogs are miserable or being cruelly treated.

i'd second that, but i'm a dog abusing thug, so i don't think it's likely to help your argument!

shelly (perfectly foul wench) and elliott and harriet http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
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