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Old 12-11-2012, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Introducing new Dobe to current male dog

Hi all!

I'm living with my mother until I finish college simply because there is no reason to shell out unnecessary money when it could be out in the bank. She has a very sweet mixed breed rescue and I am adopting a Dobe very soon. Sam's ONLY flaw is his protectiveness of his house and people. He has NEVER bit someone or another dog, but I am worried that his dominantish personality will make my rescue Dobe nervous or anxious. He shows great personality according to the agency, just a little anxiety when his collar is grabbed suddenly (evidence of abuse,no doubt) or slight apprehension in new situations (who wouldn't after being tossed from shelter to home to shelter, and so on).

How can I make the introduction as stress-free and smooth as possible? I just want the absolute best for my new boy. I don't worry as much about Sam, mom's dog, because he is confident and unafraid of just about everything.

Thanks SO much!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

I'd recommend metting in a neutral setting, and make the interaction as positive as possible. A big problem I see is people introducing dogs on leash, they're nervous, they tense up, the dog picks up on that, and the whole situation is escalated into something it shouldn't have been. I usually like to introduce dogs off leash, see how they react, and then take it from there. Many times dogs introduced on leash that seem to act "aggressively" will act 100% different when they are not at the end of a tight leash. Obviously you want to keep a close eye, and stay near just in case. But honestly, I wouldn't over think it too much, I wouldn't expect a problem, just be alert, and you should be fine. Just use some common sense.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome!

I'd recommend metting in a neutral setting, and make the interaction as positive as possible. A big problem I see is people introducing dogs on leash, they're nervous, they tense up, the dog picks up on that, and the whole situation is escalated into something it shouldn't have been. I usually like to introduce dogs off leash, see how they react, and then take it from there. Many times dogs introduced on leash that seem to act "aggressively" will act 100% different when they are not at the end of a tight leash. Obviously you want to keep a close eye, and stay near just in case. But honestly, I wouldn't over think it too much, I wouldn't expect a problem, just be alert, and you should be fine. Just use some common sense.
That's exactly what I was thinking. I believe I'll have Sam go play at a friend's house for an hour or so while new dobe checks out the house. Then I'll introduce them in the back yard and have treats in hand for when they exchange pleasantries
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have always introduced new dogs in a neutral setting like a park. Or just taking them out on a walk, in both cases you can't do it alone. I prefer to have them either on a leash or long line. No need really to be nervous about the meeting, it's either going to go well or not. I do kinda like the walk a little better as they are a little more occupied, and not standing there looking at each other. Some dogs do take a few meetings to warm up to each other, especially one that is nervous because of it's past. Good luck!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wouldn't have them meet at the house at all. I have always introduced my rescues at another location and then just loaded everyone up and brought them home.

I'd also make sure to go really slow in allowing them to be together, use some gates in the house etc.

It is likely the doberman who will decide he likes his new digs and wants to get rid of the other male.

I really hope that doesn't happen to you, but male on male aggression is very common in the doberman breed.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's exactly what I was thinking. I believe I'll have Sam go play at a friend's house for an hour or so while new dobe checks out the house. Then I'll introduce them in the back yard and have treats in hand for when they exchange pleasantries
I agree on the neutral setting, just so Sam doesn't get territorial and defensive on the get go. I can't remember if I read it or not, but is Sam neutered? I'm assuming the dobe is since he's coming from rescue.
They can safely play under supervision at a dog park and then come home together!
Sam will be like oh a visitor how nice.. and then realize he's there for good
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree on the neutral setting, just so Sam doesn't get territorial and defensive on the get go. I can't remember if I read it or not, but is Sam neutered? I'm assuming the dobe is since he's coming from rescue.
They can safely play under supervision at a dog park and then come home together!
Sam will be like oh a visitor how nice.. and then realize he's there for good
Oh yes! Sam is neutered! I would hate to tackle this task with him not being so. Thanks so much for a positive and "not intimidating" sort of response. If it goes as smoothly as you described, I'll jump for joy. I'm just majorly worried about growling and other super aggressive acts. I feel like its going to make the whole new situation seem scary for my new boy. I don't want him to react aggressively, either.

Whoa I am one stressed out Mommy haha
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi

I have to do this a lot. I have 4 Dobes but also run a home boarding and dog walking business
The best way I've found is to take them all on a trip in the car. (My vehicle is caged so dogs can't get to one another )
We go to a neutral off the lead area where there are no other distractions.
I let mine out first off the lead then take the new boy/girl out but keeping them on a lead by my side.
I won't let any sniff face to face and make sure I keep walking. Within a few minutes all dogs usually settle very quickly, I walk them for a good 1-2 hrs.
Then it's back home.
In the house the new dog is kept separated from the others using baby gates and is only allowed in the room with mine if I'm there. Even if I go to make a coffee in the next room the new one has to come with me.
I've never encountered any problems but I am ultra vigilante.
I also feed them all together, next to one another but supervised at all times.

1 of my rescue girls used to be dog aggressive too, but since introducing her to other dogs like this she is nearly 100% better.


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Old 12-12-2012, 12:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Whoa back up seems like no one is telling you about male to male aggression issues when a male Doberman reaches sexual maturity they usually will fight another male no matter what the breed also it does not matter if they are neutered or not.It is hard wired into their brains if they ever fight they will keep trying to fight until one is dead. You have to keep them separate and never leave them alone together. You can find more information under the search at the top of the page under male aggression. Good Luck
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Whoa back up seems like no one is telling you about male to male aggression issues when a male Doberman reaches sexual maturity they usually will fight another male no matter what the breed also it does not matter if they are neutered or not.It is hard wired into their brains if they ever fight they will keep trying to fight until one is dead. You have to keep them separate and never leave them alone together. You can find more information under the search at the top of the page under male aggression. Good Luck
It's not always the case. I have a 5 year old neutered male dobie too and he is walked out everyday with other males. Plus he shares the house with make guests.

But I agree unless you are very experienced with the breed then you maybe need to talk with the rescue centre about this and maybe do the introductions with a knowledgeable person who can read any aggressive signals first. An introduction done at the rescue centre would probably be the best.




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Old 12-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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How big is Sam and how is he with other dogs? (other than protective of his home). Also, its good to stay calm and confident when doing introductions bc they will totally read your nervousness and reflect it. If you keep things happy and positive, watching body language at all times, just intervene if needed. I assume the rescue would tell you if the dog isn't good with other dogs, for his own sake. And you know sam best, so don't allow him to be naughty but praise them both when being good
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Patches Mom is right, you need to research (use the search function) male-male aggression or same sex aggression. It is very prevalent in this breed, and this could become a HUGE issue. In fact, this is so natural to them that if a doberman were to become violent with another dog in the show ring, he/she wouldn't even be disqualified.

As long as you are living in the same house, I would never never never have the dogs in the same room together. It can go from 0 to 60 so fast.

Here's a start on your research:
Male on Male Aggression
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I second (or third, or fourth, or whatever) the concern--you have a male dog already that you describe as being protective of his house and people. You propose to bring a new dog into the household of a breed noted for a tendency of aggression with other dogs of the same sex.

You are running a real risk here. They may get along--but with what you describe there is a large chance that they will not. A dog who is friendly with other dogs in a neutral environment is not necessarily open to the idea of sharing a home with one. Definitely do your research; read up on the thread provided.

Think long and hard about your next action. What will be your plan if you current dog and your new one do NOT get along? Usually that means crate and rotate--the dogs can basically never be allowed in the same room at the same time. It's a lot of work and a tough way to live--do you want to sign up for that?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Patches Mom is right, you need to research (use the search function) male-male aggression or same sex aggression. It is very prevalent in this breed, and this could become a HUGE issue. In fact, this is so natural to them that if a doberman were to become violent with another dog in the show ring, he/she wouldn't even be disqualified.

As long as you are living in the same house, I would never never never have the dogs in the same room together. It can go from 0 to 60 so fast.

Here's a start on your research:
Male on Male Aggression
Many thanks for this link. It is an excellent informative read

You have just taught an old dog some new tricks 😃

I do keep four Dobes and introduce new dogs to them and have dogs to stay on a daily basis but after only reading one of the links I definitely agree that for the OP it is a bad decision to keep two males.

It does work for me but I've had male Dobies for the last 27 years and I wouldn't have another as a family member whilst Boris is still with me.

Sorry to the OP if I have given you hope but after reading only one of the links I don't think it's worth the risk.




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Old 12-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think the key to having two males is the dogs themselves. Ammo lives with two other males currently and has lived with three at once. He is a perfect angel and has never shown any aggression issues toward any of them. The important thing to think of is to always have a back up plan if thigns arent going exactly as planned. If for some reason Ammo decided to dislike my bulldog or vice/versa, I could easily separate them and they would still have great lives, just away from one another.

edit: just educate yourself and read up on the situation at hand. Think about it long and hard and make a responsible decision. Everyone is different and so are the dogs. It can be done, it just isnt necessarily the best option. Think about worst case scenarios and what would you do if things were nothing like you hope? Thats for any dog as well, (and hell any difficult situation)
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you SO much, everyone, for your input and info
After talking it over with Mom, we decided if the introduction and time soon following go very poorly, I will get my own place. It's not like its an astronomical imposition on me, just would rather save money the easy way, but I'm definitely willing to do so if it is the only way to keep my new boy happy.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For the first week after initial intros, I would gate off a safe, comfortable area for the Doberman. This will allow the current dog to become familiar with having the Doberman in the house and allow the Doberman to become accustomed to his new settings. I've talked to too many people in the rescue I volunteer with that bring a foster home, do initial introductions, let the loose in the house together, and a fight breaks out over a resource or pushiness, etc. All the dogs involved should be allowed personal space during the acclimation period.

For the collar sensitivity, 1) I'd keep a leash on him in the house while the dogs are first together for safety reasons and 2) you could work on counter conditioning to make it so that having his collar being grabbed is a rewarding experience.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JariaPippin View Post
Thank you SO much, everyone, for your input and info
After talking it over with Mom, we decided if the introduction and time soon following go very poorly, I will get my own place. It's not like its an astronomical imposition on me, just would rather save money the easy way, but I'm definitely willing to do so if it is the only way to keep my new boy happy.
Ooooh it's so nice to have a new person to this forum who is open and willing to learn rather than beliving he/she has the magic solution or that his/her dog could never be subjected to normal dobermen/dog problems.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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OK am I not to tell anyone about the male on male aggression no one was saying anything about it thought the person should at least be aware of it. sorry
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:24 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Not to be another Debbie Downer but can also be very difficult to find a rental with a Dobe as they are considered an aggressive breed by many insurance companies and therefore many many rental agencies will not allow you to have a doberman in their rentals. Just something to keep in mind when looking you may have to take something less then ideal for housing to keep your guy.

Bless you for rescuing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:41 AM   #21 (permalink)
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OK am I not to tell anyone about the male on male aggression no one was saying anything about it thought the person should at least be aware of it. sorry
?????

You did the right thing. This is what this forum is for.
Mixed opinions.
At least the OP has some useful reading now and will have the chance to make it work. 😃


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Old 12-13-2012, 07:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum. Good luck to your future. I hope everything works out the way you want. The issue on the rental, alas, is true. Check before renting. It will save you in the long run either in deposits or having to get rid of your fur kid. Again, best of luck to you!
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:30 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You've got the info on the male-male aggression now, and have a plan if it doesn't work out. Try to not over-think or be over-nervous about the meeting. Try to relax as much as you can and just be aware/prepared. Really watch body language and allow each to have plenty of space, especially initially. I agree with those above who talk about taking a long walk with them together - I just go. Initially they are separated by at least one human body, then eventually I let them have more leash and will let them walk near another but I actually discourage the initial face-to-face and just walk. I keep moving - this seems to keep their minds moving and doesn't let them stop and work into something. This is one reason I don't like dog parks - people just stand there stagnant in a huge pile and don't pay attention, and this is when dogs usually get into it.

Some great advice above to follow for home, too. I would be especially sure to keep them separated when there are toys and food/treats around. I wouldn't leave anything valuable laying around the house. If you give them chews or bones be sure each has their own space and they can't approach the other.

How are you with dog body language? We can provide some good sites for you if you need it.

Just because male-male aggression is common doesn't necessarily mean your dog is a ticking time-bomb. Each dog has their own threshold and their own triggers. Some are aggressive just having another male around, others have a longer fuse. Prevention is key here. Silas is a very tolerant dog and is a dog-friendly dog with a long fuse. However if another dominant male gets pushy or starts something, Si won't back down. So, although he is probably a Dobe that could live with another male, (especially a small dog) I still wouldn't want to go that route unless the other dog was very submissive and even then, just to be safe, I'd not leave any resources down (toys) like I do now with my current male/female pair, who never even snark at each other. It's not that I couldn't do it with him, but it would be much less stress and work not do so.

How old is your rescue boy? What does the rescue say about him and other dogs?


Edit: For the rentals, look for individual owners like on Craigslist. I also recommend working on getting your boy's CGC (canine good citizen) once you've had him for some time and begin working with him. Also, you can get a letter of reference from your vet. And anytime you do get a rental, when you leave ask for a letter of recommendation from them regarding your current dog. This has worked well for me in the past.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #24 (permalink)
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That's exactly what I was thinking. I believe I'll have Sam go play at a friend's house for an hour or so while new dobe checks out the house. Then I'll introduce them in the back yard and have treats in hand for when they exchange pleasantries
I'm not sure introducing treats, and therefore a potential resource for guarding is a good idea?


I second the suggestions for introducing over a long walk. That seems to work best for my dog-selective bitch.

And I second that you be prepared for the potential need to crate-and-rotate until you move out.

One small thing I wanted to throw out too - just because your new boy doesn't like his collar being grabbed suddenly doesn't mean he was necessarily abused. He may just not like being suddenly grabbed by the collar. ;p

Best of luck and thank you for rescuing!
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