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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question on Male Aggression

Hello all I have posted several time about my little man Griffey. He is now about 9.5 months old and doing great. He is well socialized playing with dogs of all ages and sizes. Loves his trips to the dog park and never has any problems at all. Recently while walking around a park (one we frequent with a nice path) we were walking by another male dog, dobe mix, and Griff went into full defense protection mode. It was very odd, teeth out, hair up, and barking. At most he will pull and whine to play/meet other dogs at the park (working on impulse control and getting better) but this was very different. There were at least 3 other dogs we would pass during the laps and he only did this to this particular dog. Anyone ever hear of anything like this? I feel it was a protection type thing because he gets along so well with so many dogs male and female, and has incredible temperament. Thank for your thoughts.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:35 PM
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He is starting to mature.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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He is starting to mature.
I understand he is maturing and since he is intact will be Alpha or try around other males. But it was so random for him to pick this dog for no reason in particular that's why I was confused and asking.

I forgot to add that he has had his run in with aggressive males at the dog park where he defended him self until they were separated. Only has happened 2 or 3 times but all were initiated by the other dog whose owners actually apologized and left because Griff wasn't the only dog he was aggressive with.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:45 PM
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Well, he is growing up--hormones and maturity can change a dog as they grow.

On leash around other male dogs is probably appropriate at this point, but he shouldn’t actually be growling and showing teeth at any chance dog who goes by, no matter what is going on. There are other ways to explain his behavior--it’s hard to tell exactly what causes a one-time behavior. Keep an eye on him--especially notice what is happening in his environment if he seems uneasy to help you figure out what is going on, so you can work on correcting the problem as early as possible.

Lots of on-leash work to keep him polite and appropriate under any circumstances. Distraction is also a good way to go--teach him to give you his full attention when you ask for it, so you can forestall bad behavior if you see the possibility of a problem ahead.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:52 PM
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I think you should seriously consider stopping going to dog parks. From your original post it sounds more like leash aggression than male aggression. Most same sex aggression starts over a resource (toy,food,person) or male posturing behavior and not really just from walking past another male on a walk.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well, he is growing up--hormones and maturity can change a dog as they grow.

On leash around other male dogs is probably appropriate at this point, but he shouldn’t actually be growling and showing teeth at any chance dog who goes by, no matter what is going on. There are other ways to explain his behavior--it’s hard to tell exactly what causes a one-time behavior. Keep an eye on him--especially notice what is happening in his environment if he seems uneasy to help you figure out what is going on, so you can work on correcting the problem as early as possible.

Lots of on-leash work to keep him polite and appropriate under any circumstances. Distraction is also a good way to go--teach him to give you his full attention when you ask for it, so you can forestall bad behavior if you see the possibility of a problem ahead.

Thanks for the advice. That's something we have been working on a lot lately and actually out next session with our trainer, impulse control on lease. Mainly it was because he would pull towards all dogs to play and meet them, but this was very different and unacceptable. That's why I was confused, it was one random dog and the other dogs he was perfectly normal with tonight. I added to my comment above as well with some other info.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I think you should seriously consider stopping going to dog parks. From your original post it sounds more like leash aggression than male aggression. Most same sex aggression starts over a resource (toy,food,person) or male posturing behavior and not really just from walking past another male on a walk.
Just out of curiosity why are you against dog parks? He really enjoys going and plays very well with dogs of all ages and sizes.

You are correct I guess it was on lease aggression, any thoughts on why it would be so random though? There was nothing different about this dog or owner compared to any dog we have ever walked by before that he just wanted to meet and play with?

Thanks!
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:06 PM
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About your addition--dogs can sometimes get along with all dogs except one or two. They can have individual likes and dislikes just like we do. But especially if they have had a run-in with another dog, they can start to generalize...I had one dog that didn’t like golden retrievers--he had been jumped by one in the past. He was polite (and under my control) with other dogs, but if he saw a golden in the distance I could see a change in his attitude.

Just one unpleasant experience, even if your dog was not at fault, can change a dog’s behavior. I’d stop the dog parks--walk him in places where all dogs are on-leash.

Share your experience and concerns with your trainer; they know your dog better than any of us online and may be able to give you some insights and ways to work with him to help correct whatever is going on.

Edited to add about dog parks--as I said above, sometimes all it will take is one bad experience to change your dog’s reaction to other dogs forever. And there are generally a lot of people who are not watching their dog at dog parks, who wouldn’t even recognize when their dog is being a pest, and who can’t control them even if they do see a bad situation starting. Many rude and untrained dogs running around...too many opportunities for problems to develop.

Even when your dog is not at fault, he can still be hurt badly.

And there is an unfair reality...no matter who causes a problem, the doberman is likely to be blamed. They have such a bad (and unfounded) reputation with the general public. Cute little (rude) fluffy can’t possibly be the problem. "All he wanted to do is play”, ie hump your dog.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice so far. As for dog parks I understand where you are all coming from however we go to a much smaller park where there are 4-5 dogs there at most. 90% are also regulars where our dogs all know each other well. If new dogs come especially intact males I keep a very close eye on Griff or may leave just to avoid any conflicts knowing intact males usually don't get along well. We have our training tomorrow so I will discuss the on lease random aggression and nip it in the butt fast. Here is our little man.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 07:51 PM
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Exactly - how old is your Male dobe ?

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly - how old is your Male dobe ?
He is 9.5 months old. And not sure why I'm having problems attaching a picture sorry
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:41 PM
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He is 9.5 months old. And not sure why I'm having problems attaching a picture sorry
^^ I knew it, I was gonna guess 9.0 months old...its so common, a timing.

Our FM went into heat at 9months & 1week...after that no stranger, can approach my truck.
- she goes into natural protection mode

I told one lady working at local dump, don't try & pet my dog...and she was wearing a yellow safety vest
(another trigger) / she reached in anyway, felt my young dobes front teeth , a warning nip for "get lost".
- hormones & sexual maturity can change many dobermans FAST
- once the on switch activates @ +/- 9 months of age (Male-FM alike) / the off switch is lost or hidden

Chonch12 - Stay away from Dog parks, from hear on.

PS - our former dobe was a certified therapy dog / they are all very different, in the breed.

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:46 PM
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What format are you using to try to post a picture? From your computer, loading pics to an online photo host like flickr or imgur and then copying over the code they provide is usually the easiest way to post a picture here.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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What format are you using to try to post a picture? From your computer, loading pics to an online photo host like flickr or imgur and then copying over the code they provide is usually the easiest way to post a picture here.
I just use the attach feature when posting like usual. Posted pictures before but having problems now. Maybe it's a mobile site problem. Oh well I will figure it out tomorrow on my computer and get some posted
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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^^ I knew it, I was gonna guess 9.0 months old...its so common, a timing.

Our FM went into heat at 9months & 1week...after that no stranger, can approach my truck.
- she goes into natural protection mode

I told one lady working at local dump, don't try & pet my dog...and she was wearing a yellow safety vest
(another trigger) / she reached in anyway, felt my young dobes front teeth , a warning nip for "get lost".
- hormones & sexual maturity can change many dobermans FAST
- once the on switch activates @ +/- 9 months of age (Male-FM alike) / the off switch is lost or hidden

Chonch12 - Stay away from Dog parks, from hear on.

PS - our former dobe was a certified therapy dog / they are all very different, in the breed.
Yup just like any dog I know that puberty can change dogs no matter their temperament and bloodlines. That's why it was so important for us to get out pup from a reputable breeder and to socialize him so much.

Was your dobe a therapy dog that you described about your truck? Or was that a former dobe? Sorry a bit confused.

Appreciate the advice, but as I said before I am going to continue going to our small dog park because it's mainly regulars, the dogs all know each other, and it's only 4-5 at most. Not to mention when any other intact males comes I leave or they respectfully leave because we were there first. I understand the chance we are taking but it's a very comfortable place for him to continue to socialize and play.

Love having a protective dog, but at the same time not in that way on the leash. It's something we will be working with our trainer on tomorrow and going forward. End goal is to have him off leash trained (clearly in due time) and to pass the canine good citizen test. Already looking into nose training next.
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:33 PM
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Yup just like any dog I know that puberty can change dogs no matter their temperament and bloodlines. That's why it was so important for us to get out pup from a reputable breeder and to socialize him so much. .......... Was your dobe a therapy dog that you described about your truck? Or was that a former dobe? Sorry a bit confused.
..........
All 3 of my pups came from the best top breeders...in North America / with multiple show titles, both sides of boarder.
- 1977 Tanya came from a Canadian breeder with over 50 Champiohships
- and she help start the Doberman Club of Canada, in 1955

- year 2000 puppy Amy came from a Championship breeder in Canada, with 97 titles (to date)...she was Therapy certified to visit hospital senior wards & nursing homes / and championship titled in OB.

- year 2012 puppy Kelly came from a Championship breeder in USA, with +50 titles / her mom was Top20 American bitch in 2012 / sire was a Westminster Champ from a respected breeder in MI.
- Kelly is the vehicle protective one / had hackles up, starting at 10 weeks old, and puberty onset escalated things

^^ ALL 3 pups had loads of early Socialization, Training, & Love, never kenneled or sent away, receiving 24/7/365 attention.

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 09:34 PM
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Dobermans, especially males, are just not "dog park" dogs. They were bred to work with one human handler not to get along and work beside other dogs like say hound breeds. For this reason, there is same sex aggression as well as overall dog aggression to some degree inherent in the breed. It is described in the doberman standard. Most doberman adults have a low threshold for poorly mannered other dogs and "in your face" or dominating type behavior and as strong willed as this breed is it's not fair to expect him to easily back down from confrontation.

I understand wanting your pup to be social with all other dogs, and don't get me wrong, socialization is extremely important (especially with other people) but from this point forward, as others are mentioning, instead of having him be able to get along with all other dogs work on him focusing on you and ignoring other dogs, especially the ones who are overly excited and pulling on the leash towards your pup to greet him. It can only take one bad experience to take your boy's issues to the next level where it's hard for him to be in public around any other dogs.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:27 PM
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Something a trainer told me--neutered dogs often do not like entire males (different smell?) and will go after them--thought I’d throw this into the stew.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Something a trainer told me--neutered dogs often do not like entire males (different smell?) and will go after them--thought I?d throw this into the stew.
That's interesting because every small altercation I've witnessed has been with 2 intact males. Never 1 and 1. He actually has a 3 year old neuter male pointer friend that comes there. They Love playing, wrestling together, both about the same size. After a good 30 min they both are worn out and laying down to relax.
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Dobermans, especially males, are just not "dog park" dogs. They were bred to work with one human handler not to get along and work beside other dogs like say hound breeds. For this reason, there is same sex aggression as well as overall dog aggression to some degree inherent in the breed. It is described in the doberman standard. Most doberman adults have a low threshold for poorly mannered other dogs and "in your face" or dominating type behavior and as strong willed as this breed is it's not fair to expect him to easily back down from confrontation.

I understand wanting your pup to be social with all other dogs, and don't get me wrong, socialization is extremely important (especially with other people) but from this point forward, as others are mentioning, instead of having him be able to get along with all other dogs work on him focusing on you and ignoring other dogs, especially the ones who are overly excited and pulling on the leash towards your pup to greet him. It can only take one bad experience to take your boy's issues to the next level where it's hard for him to be in public around any other dogs.
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Something a trainer told me--neutered dogs often do not like entire males (different smell?) and will go after them--thought I?d throw this into the stew.

With all that said and I completely understand where you are coming from and why, do you feel this way about intact male dobes or all dobes at parks. We will be getting him neutered, most likely around 1.5 years old (wanted to wait at least 1 year) before doing so.
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-17-2017, 11:56 PM
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I guess part of the point is that neutering will not necessarily take care of any possible aggression problem a dog might develop. Once it shows up, it’s there.

This aggression problem doesn’t necessarily happen in every dog--but it can happen suddenly. Two guys that have gotten along for 5 years....all of the sudden, one of them says something wrong to the other....and they can never be together again.

It’s that unexpectedness that is so tricky.

On a different note, male-male aggression is relatively common among male dobes; female-female aggression not so common....but if it does show up, it’s much worse.

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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 10:23 AM
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Most people don't take their dobes to dog parks but I have a 5 year old neutered male who LOVES the dog park, its his favorite place in the world. Mostly he likes to run and relieve himself but he's also great with all dogs and is a gentleman. Maybe it just depends on the individual dog. Zuko is more submissive in nature than others. He does prefer to be by us rather than other dogs unless he finds a buddy to play with.

Jackie, Jake & Zuko


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Originally Posted by Chonch12 View Post
With all that said and I completely understand where you are coming from and why, do you feel this way about intact male dobes or all dobes at parks. We will be getting him neutered, most likely around 1.5 years old (wanted to wait at least 1 year) before doing so.
Same sex aggression is very common in male Dobes--common enough that with many years and many male Dobes I always assume that beyond about 6 months my dog, no matter how well behaved he may be is unfortunately likely to be involved in a fight (more often than not, not of his own making) and no matter who started it he's the dog who will be blamed.

About the dog that your dog reacted to--were you watching that dog the entire time he was approaching your dog? It's just as possible that the other dog offered some behavior that caused your dog to react the way he did. Many males (neutered or not) are masters of the "stink eye" or vibrating tail--both aggressive behaviors--and can get a big reaction out of another dog and often none of the owners saw what started it.

While a neutered dog may start a fight with a male "just because" it's equally common that intact males don't like neutered males and they can do the same thing.

And even in small parks with low volume of dogs all it takes is one whose owner isn't paying attention or whose dog is giving off signals, to start a fight--on leash I don't worry about this sort of thing. Go to any dog show and look at male Dobes waiting at the ring entrance--the owners, handlers and the dogs are pretty much always aware of their dog and what it is doing and you rarely see any sort of aggression much less out and out fights even between breeds more aggressive than Dobes (take a look around the terrier rings sometime). But all of my dogs learn early that aggressive behavior, on leash, just isn't going to be allowed.

And I play the odds and simply don't take any of my Dobes to off leash dog parks. I too had one, and only one male Dobe who could be put into a yard with any number of dogs (Dobes mostly) of any age and sex and get along with all of them--it gave me heart attacks just thinking about it and I wasn't the one that was doing it--it impressed the people who saw it but it just wasn't safe. I stopped it as soon as I found out it was going on.

Good luck--just keep training him to be polite and disinterred in anything except you while on leash.
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Last edited by dobebug; 09-18-2017 at 03:40 PM.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-18-2017, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got my pics to upload. This is Griff. He is 9.5 months old and 70 lbs. About 25-26 in tall, not exactly sure where the true measurement lies when going from found to top of back/neck. He is from Mueller Dobermans
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