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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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feeding time with brother and sister

my 2 dobermans brother and sister 18 months of age are really being weird around their food - it starts with staring at one another alpha bitch eats first, makes my boy feel awkwood, when she has finished i have to hold her by the collar and he relaxes enough to eat, but very timidly have to say. Tried putting her outside, but he stresses and won't eat. Any advise would be appreciated thanks
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:09 AM
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ummm.. difficult...i personaly make her sit away from him but in the same room.. but let him eat first...then let her eat.. if she gets like this over food she is gonna get very bossy and you will end up with a fight on your hands !!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:31 AM
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Sounds like the start of littermate syndrome.

Absolutely excellent article on littermate syndrome

“If you don't own a dog, at least one,
there is not necessarily anything wrong with you,
but there may be something wrong with your life.”


-Roger Caras
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 09:48 AM
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I think this may only the tip of the iceberg with behavior issues between the too. Her assertion behaviors may continue to escalate, and it will not lead to good things. If your boy is stressing because he cannot be separated from her, you have another issue that really needs to be addressed. I don't really know what else is going so I will address the food issue.

Are you saying they are eating from the same bowl? It's hard to tell. If they are certainly stop doing that! If not, then just disregard this.

I would strongly suggest completely separating the two of them at feeding time. Separate rooms. He is acting very fearful/submissive around her, when he should not have too. By allowing her to remain in the room with him while he eats only allows her to continue to send him signals, and assert her presence to him - as her mere presence in the room can be intimating. Your boy should be able to eat in peace without fear of the girl. Secondly you do NOT want this to escalate to the point that she feels she can take food by him at anytime - which may result in the two of them fighting over the food. If he stresses when she is not around you really have to work on this.

Whatever you do, do not let them continue like this, it is a recipe for disaster.





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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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don't get me wrong she isn't aggressive towards him, it is actually he that is doing the staring, i have always fed them separately to be honest usually she eats outside, due to bad weather allowed them to eat, they actually look fussy, they seem to go through a ritual of pulling the food out of the dish and dropping on the floor or behind a chair (in the kitchen of course). i feed raw by the way.
last night with the chicken wings no problem at all !! weird. we do have alpha bitch and he is i would say low/medium in the pack order. they did have a scrap a month ago, very subdued for 3 days but have been fine and loving since.
i have made the decision to never have the 2 off the lead at the same time, i walk them separately or when 2 of us go out.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-08-2012, 08:32 AM
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You've only just started separating them for exercise and play now at 2 years old?


Anyway, as for feeding them raw and not wanting it dragged all over the house...do they not listen when told to stay somewhere? Are you not able to enforce them staying in the area you want them to eat? Then I'd crate them while they eat.




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Last edited by brw1982; 11-08-2012 at 08:34 AM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 04:10 PM
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I was about to say this.
If you don't have crates get some, feed them in their crates, sleep in their crates, you can exercise them and train them together, it can be done but it is hard.

Getting littermates is a dumb idea.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 11:21 AM
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I have worked with friends who went through this. As many have said so far, start separating them. Use crates and have their crates in different parts of the house. They need to eat and sleep separate from one another, preferably where they can't even see or hear one another. I know it sounds extreme but thats what is needed especially in light of the fact that they are almost 2. They need to learn how to be confident without one another around. You Might also want to train each of them by themselves at least once a week, whether its obedience, or agility or whatever. My friends dogs were Bearded Collie siblings that sound similar too what your guys are going through. They were about 14 months old at the time. The sib with the separation anxiety had a rough couple of days but then adjusted. They are still best buds but are no longer dependent upon one another. Its not going to be easy but it can be done. Good Luck and I hope you can work them through it.

Mike Kelly
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