Why is the rum gone?
Join Date: May 2009
Dogs Name: Griffin and Viking (GSD)
Dogs Age: 12+ and 2
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You've got some huge red flags there. Three males, all still puppies for the time being. One of your males is bullying the other two, who are puppies and are tolerating it for the time being. The breeds involved- Dobermans and Staffordshire terriers- are known to commonly have individuals with either same sex or general dog aggression. With Dobes, same-sex aggression is so common that people who are knowledgable in the breed, with a very rare few exceptions for special cases, never recommend a male-male pair.
For now, your Dobe mixes are okay with the older dogs holding a higher position. Keep in mind that they are puppies, though. It's not uncommon for Dobermans to start challenging everything when they approach two years old, and male-male aggression is extremely common in this breed. I know you said your Dobes had some Aussie Shepherd in them, but Aussies are fairly tough themselves. Even if your puppies inherited mostly Dobe characteristics, you still have half of their genetic makeup coming from a tough, intelligent herding breed. So you get the toughness and intelligence from both sides of the line, and mostly Dobe characteristics mean you're getting all the baggage, like same-sex aggression, that comes with it.
Add in the fact that your Staffordshire is a year old himself, and already bullies your puppies? I'd be cautious. Very, very cautious. He will be hitting his adult years too, and that bullying may turn into something more as he matures into an adult. 1 year old is still a puppy, so you need to nip that behavior in the bud now. Your Staffie can no longer be allowed to bully your puppies.
You said he's causing negligible physical damage? That is not acceptable and your Dobe mix boys will protest that one day, probably landing one or all of your dogs in the vet's. Puppies are like little sponges, they absorb all kinds of lessons and you do not want your older dog causing confidence problems or aggression- which he will- if he continues to bully your puppies. Especially if you want to protection train them. They need to be well socialized and have the chance to build up confidence. An older dog who goes after them will do the opposite, and will ruin your puppies.
In addition, being bullied in that manner by an older dog can cause dog aggression problems or fear aggression problems in a young dog. My first Dobe was bullied and attacked by an older GSD while he was between 6-22 months old at home #2, and I had a lifetime of dog aggression as a result of it after I adopted him.
Also, as your dogs get older, never let them be together unsupervised. Bullying behavior between three males is a huge red flag. Sure, your pups will tolerate it now because they are babies, but once they grow up that can (and often does) change. They might behave in your presence, but if you're not there and one decides he's had enough and wants to challenge one of the other males, well. That will not end well.
Last edited by River; 01-08-2013 at 03:13 PM.