We have had our dobe, Lilly, since she was 9 weeks old and she is now 4 1/2 months. We have an issue when she gets ahold of items that she is not supposed to have such as clothes, mail, our 7 year old's toys, etc. She will start to growl, her eyes become very dialated, & she begins to shake. If we attempt to take the item from her, she will show teeth, jump, and snap/bite. I have attempted to trade her treats for the items and sometimes this will work. She also growls at our 7 year old when she is laying down/going to sleep. She has never done more than this so I believed that she was just letting him know to leave her alone.
We contacted a professional trainer who told us that she would not help us because she believes that our dog is fear and control aggressive. She suggested that we give her to a rescue.
I am still hopeful because when this doesn't happen, she is the most loving puppy. Will getting her fixed help this at all? Can anyone give me any hints on how to teach her that this is not acceptable?
Dobermans are not a breed for everyone, especially someone who is not well expeirenced with training. I have no idea what your experience level is, but it definitely sounds as though you have bit off more than you can chew.
If the dog is already growling and showing teeth to your 7 yr old, it is time RIGHT NOW to make a decision. You can continue to contact trainers until you find one that specializes in this area of training. Place her in a training facility off your property until they are able to give her some basic training and conditioning. They would then bring you in and train you on how to continue to train her to be a respectable member of the family.
Have you contacted the puppy's breeder for advice? If you are unable to find a trainer or in-house training facility, I would defintely consider relinquishing her to either her breeder or to a rescue. An intervention needs to be made asap, once she has reached the point that she bites, it will hard to get her under control.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It is about learning to dance in the rain.