I just thought I would write on this forum to get the opinion of other Pinscher people, because I am really not used to the breed. I apologize in advance for the lenghty post, but I would really appreciate your help.
For starters, between myself and my girlfriend, we have 4 dogs. We have 2 dobermans (who are both rescues), one boxer, and one miniature pinscher. Before my girlfriend moved in with me, I couldn't really comment on the way she was raising her dogs, but I knew that I would never tolerate the way they were if she moved in. When the time came for us to live together, I basically explained to her that the complete chaos in which the pack is behaving is not going to be acceptable. Nevermind what her doberman was doing, I will stay on subject and talk about the min pin. When she first got here, here is what I was dealing with. A min pin that:
-Barked incessantly, at any given moment, either because she wanted to play, saw something in the street, got excited, wanted water, wanted food, etc (you get the picture). Now I understand this is a vocal breed, but this was INSANE. And when she started barking at something, the dobermans would go crazy and it would be total chaos.
-Attacked all other dogs when they got close to her
-got really posessive when it came to beds/toys/food/us
-would not let us relax for a minute. You could be sitting there watching a movie, or sleeping in the middle of the night, and if she decided it was time to play, she would get right next to you and bark right in your face
-She would beg and stare at any time we were eating, trying to jump up on us and get us to give her food.
-bring a toy and alternate between barking at us or sitting and staring at us, shaking with a paw in the air for HOURS.
As you probably understand, I HATED that dog, as she was a complete pest. Then I started realizing that since this was a smaller dog my girlfriend made every excuse for her. ''she has to make her place because she lives with bigger dogs'', ''she'S cute'', ''I feel sorry for her'', and so on. On top of everything else, she was the only one that was allowed to sleep in the bed, because she was more compact, and she liked to cuddle. So when it was bedtime, it was everyone else not allowed in the bedroom, except the little princess who had her place in the bed.
As you probably guessed, this caused some major small dog syndrome problems. When everyone moved in, my girlfriend let me take charge of the dogs, so I started working with her.
Rule #1: Same rule for every dog, no matter what size. This includes sleeping on the bed.
Rule #2: NO AGRESSION TOWARDS HER BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WHATSOEVER, EVER. Agressive behavior is corrected right away. I actually make the bigger calmer dogs lie down right next to her and gently correct her as soon as she starts growling, and then reward her once she's sleeping cuddled up next to one of her buddies (its a beautiful thing!)
Rule #3: No incessant barking. No playing with her until she ''deserves'' it. If she sits there and barks at us, she will get nothing but a correction. When she calms down, then its play time.
Rule #4: When we are eating at the kitchen table, she (and all the other dogs) are not allowed in the dining room.
That's pretty much it for now. I'm not being cruel, I'm not hitting her, I'm not yelling at her - I'm just not letting her get away with anything.
This might sound weird, but the issue I am writing about today is that it seems almost like it has worked TOO WELL. She definitely realized she is a dog now, but she is so unused to not getting her way, that she seems confused, and we are so unused to seeing her being calm, that we are wondering if she is ''off'' somehow.
Let me explain.
If she is on the sofa and I walk in to the room, her ears will go back in a submissive state, and she will jump off the couch onto the dog bed and go to sleep. If I call her, she will be right up to snuggle up next to me, but she doesnt act like I or the sofa is hers anymore.
She cant always contain herself when we pet her (the moaning) but that's OK.
She no longer attacks other dogs.
We showed up the yesterday night and usually we hear her barking non stop from the minute we drive into the driveway. NOT. ONE. PEEP. She was as happy to see us as ever, but she was just quietly weeping/whining instead of barking and attacking the other dogs for our attention.
And most surprisingly - SHE IS CALM. She gets excited when we call her, but the rest of the time she is in a nice calm submissive state.
We walk her off leash, she no longer barks at us the whole time so we throw rocks she can chase, she runs around with the other dogs in the woods just like a normal dog now.
Now I LOVE that dog. But my girlfriend was explaing yesterday that she feels her Pinscher is not acting like a Pinscher anymore, and I guess I'm just a bit concerned. To me it sounds like she is balanced and calm, but I just want to make sure she isnt depressed and afraid.
What do you guys think?
I really appreciate your responses, thank you for reading all the way if you made it here!
Based on what you said, she is depressed and confused. It is not normal to not let a min pin sleep in your bed. It is normal for them to bark at anything and everything, including a leaf blowing across the yard. It seems that you tried to turn her into a big, calm dog and that's just not what they are. They have big personalities and are dominant over any dog, big or small. However, I agree that being aggressive towards the other dogs is not okay. Begging for food is completely normal for them. Barking at you is their way of communicating to you, do you realize she can't speak English? Also, walking a min pin off a leash is the biggest accomplishment I've ever heard of.
My min pins are all over 10 years old and I wish I could go back to the days of barking and non stop playing. Maybe you should personally do more research on the breed before trying to stamp it out of her. Just because they are miniature pinschers absolutely does not mean they are small versions of a doberman. I promise when she is old and less active you'll regret the day you tried to make her calm with no personality. The fact that she puts her ears down means she's afraid of you or just thinks you're trying to dominate her. You can be her master without being the alpha. Female min pins need to be the alpha of their pack.
Honestly, I don't mean to be rude, but you sound like the stereotypical small dog hater. I 100% agree with your girlfriend. You basically ruined her happy, spunky min pin. I realize this post is years old I just hope it's not too late for her.