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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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8 Month puppy showing aggression

My 8 month old male Dobe is starting to show aggression to other intact males, he has been well socialsed (goes to the dog park did puppy school and training classes) and gets taken out everyday.
i know male on male aggresssion is common in this breed and i want to hold off on nutering till 18 months for growth and health benifits but if the aggression get worse will nutering help stop the problem?
is there also training or outher ways to help work around this?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 08:51 AM
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When you say aggression what do you mean? How is it playing out? Is he on leash far away from them when this happens or is he off leash in close proximity? You can easily work on his tolerance to being near other males when on leash. A good example of that working is there are plenty of intact males at dog shows who can be 1ft away from each other without a problem. It takes a lot of high value treats, being around many other dogs, and not pushing past the threshold of what your puppy can tolerate.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 09:25 AM
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Same sex aggression most often will NOT disappear with neutering - it truly is a breed thing. My almost 11 year old male was neutered at age 7/8. He does not tolerate other males, and neutering did not change that at all. He can stand ringside with a bunch of other males, but I never let him stare at another male or he would start rumbling (could feel the silent growling coming up the lead) - you really don't want two males going at it ringside when all they have on is a thin little show lead!

So for your puppy, you can train him into being civil on a leash - and should! However, he is what he is and his dog park days are (or should be) over. Dobermans as a general rule are not good dog park candidates - it is best to find one or two girls that he likes and arrange private play sessions.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 03:13 PM
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Frankly, 8 months is a little younger than you would normally see signs of same sex aggression--but it's not impossible--the suggestions already offered on this thread work.

I've been showing (and keeping intact male Dobes since my first (1959) and you can definitely train to stop overt aggression toward other males (or other dogs for that matter) and if you spend any time at all at dog shows you'll see this at ringside when a herd of potentially aggressive males (Dobes or any of a good many other breeds who are regarded as likely to be aggressive toward other males). It is very rare to see dog aggression and even rarer to see it escalate to an actual fight.

Neutering is not helpful (generally) in curtailing same sex aggression--dogs who demonstrate this often don't tolerate neutered males either and I've known lots of same sex aggressive neutered males.

I do NOT take my Dobes to dog parks-it's asking for problems--even if your Dobe didn't start anything, or get involved in a fight that another dog started you can always bet that the Dobe will get blamed.

Also dog parks almost always have owners who don't pay attention to what their dogs are doing. Or who have no skill at reading body language from their dog or other dogs.

Mostly out of curiosity--where is he showing aggression? At the dog park? At classes? And is it generalized--all male dogs or specific male dogs?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 04:19 PM
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I agree with the questions and comments here. What makes you think it's dog aggression?

In my personal case, neutering did not help. I had two males who were the very best of friends until they were not and then, on two separate occasions, it was to the death in their minds. They were better inside but outside seemed to become totally different dogs.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:12 PM
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Hi Sean...

Having had several 2 male Dobe households, I will make a comment.

I have lived with "fine", "OK", "Marginal" and "Horrible".

Our current situation went from "Marginal" to "OK". One boy is a senior male the other is a 4 yo intact male.They do really well together when supervised. They are NEVER left together without hands on oversight.

Back to your issue. An 8 month old pup is sexually immature. Yes they can sire a litter. In fact, the AKC will recognized a litter sired by an 8 month old dog, should some breeder stupid enough to do that.

Still. SSA tends to come on with full maturity. Say... 3+ years. The worst experience that I ever was involved with was between 2 boys who were raised 2 years apart. They were buds and best of friends. When the youngest turned 5, he (out of the blue) decided his older "brother" had to die. It was crate and rotate until the eldest passed a few years later.

I have researched Same Sex Aggression for quite a long time. I really don't believe that is your 8 month old's issue. I have never heard of a puppy involved in an SSA problem.

Thats not to diminish your concerns about 2 dogs getting along poorly. Dobermans are extremely powerful dogs. Even an 8 month old can do tremendous damage in a brief moment.

I have rarely used a canine behaviorist, but it sounds like this might be a viable option for you.

Two other thoughts:

Keep your guys totally separated when you are not supervising.You don't want to come home to a bloody mess and $$$$ in vet bills. If it were me? I would exercise and train them separately and then allow them to play together under strict observation.

Also... No dog parks. This may only exacerbate your pup's aggressive tendencies.

OK..So this is just my opinion .

I am not a vet. nor a dog trainer or behaviorist.

But i have owned male Dobes for decades, including multiple male households.

The bottom line is the old adage: "An ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure".

Best to you and your boys.

John
Portland OR

edit to say: Please keeps updated
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:24 PM
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My 8 month old puppy is reactive on leash to other dogs, only while walking, we can go to ob classes and she is fine. I wouldnít classify it as aggression, but more that she doesnít know how sheís supposed to act and flails around and hollering like a crazed lunatic. Iv been working o. This by redirecting her BEFORE she starts to react itís handfuls of yummy treats and/or being more interesting than the other dog. This works about 80% of the time. Remember your pup is still a baby and trying to figure out how to interject in the world and you need to teach him what is ok and what isnít. I recently spent two days hiking and by the end of the last day she had almost figured out that other dogs arenít that big of a deal. My older dog is 7 and as long as another dog doesnít make a scene he mostly just ignores them, but let them bark or lunge on their leash and he gets worked up too, a quick reminder from me that itís not appropriate behavior is usually enough to shut it down.

I would also second that Dobermans are not good dog park dogs, obviously because if something goes down your dog will usually be blamed bc of the breed, many owners donít pay attention to signs that things are escalating or are oblivious to their dogs behavior towards others, and finally IMO I think that Dobermans seem to intimidate other dogs and bring out the worst in them, kinda like the guy with big muscles that walks into hot he bar all arrogant, everyone wants to fight him.

Also, when I am out with my dogs I always tell people that my dog is not dog friendly. Not because I think my dog is going to attack theirs, but more to protect my dog from being in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation....once again people donít really know their own dogs. I learned my lesso. The hard way at a dog beach, walking Athena when she was around 6 months old. Came up on a lady with with 2 rotts, they were off leash but she had them by the collar, I stopped short of her and asked if they were friendly she said yes, started walking in her direction to go around her and her dogs lunged towards us and she couldnít hold on to them. Thankfully I wasnít alone and Athena didnít get hurt but I learned not to trust other peopleís judgement.

I never go anywhere that permits off leash dogs and whenever I encounter someone with a dog thatís off leash I steer clear or give leashes to my husband and educate the person on leash laws and the dangers of allowing their dog off leash, finishing by saying I cannot guarantee that my dogs will be friendly if your dogs rushes up on them.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 07:42 PM
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I wanted to pitch in here because I encountered this with Sora on our first walk (he's also 8 months old). However, I can write it off that it "may" be a 1-time thing - he's just moved to a whole new place, with new stuff to see/hear, and we have a lot of bikes in the park (which may have made him uncomfortable). (I'd taken him on his first walk in the park around my house; another dog came up to say "hi" and Sora immediately snapped, raised hackles, etc. I'm pretty grateful the owner had their dog on a leash - in this case, I think Sora was just a bit tense from so much "new" stuff being thrown at him)

However, more re: the OP - when I got both of my furkids (my girl, Jaina, came home with me about 6 years ago now, and Sora came home less than a week ago), I knew that with a Doberman I might not be able to send them to group socialization. Like Fitzmar mentioned, it's the reality of our breed. Jaina's a VERY social dog - moreso than typical with a Doberman. She goes to daycare almost every single day; they actually use her to socialize puppies coming to the facility for the first time, or some of the rescues that board there during the day that they're trying to adopt out. I got incredibly lucky with her; I'm not expecting the same luck with Sora. Park days are likely to ONLY involve Jaina; I know after the incident from a few days ago that socializing him with other dogs will be hard, necessary, and probably not involve the ease that I did with Jaina.

I'll add to John's post too: crate/contain your dogs when you aren't home. It's not cruelty; cruelty is coming home to a bloody mess, or your dog eating a pencil (or something) while you were away and choking on it, because you didn't opt to crate or otherwise contain them. It's for their own good.

Want to also +1 to Control_Freak's post. Jaina's never really been an instigator at the park, but she was chased off a community park at 2 years old when she was blamed for another dog acting out aggressively (it was an unneutered male shepard - I just chose to never go back. The owner had the typical excuse of "he's never done that before, so it must be YOUR dog"). We've also been charged by various chihuahuahs and other dogs in our complex.

Back when I lived in California, there was a shiba inu and a pittbull puppy. One dog attacked the other. I'm phrasing it this way because most would jump to the conclusion of "oh, that poor shiba!" But truth is, the pitt barely made it out alive and is now terrified of all other dogs. It was an absolute horror scene in the elevator (I found out about this because J was friends with the pitt). In another case, a Chi charged a pitt at Jaina's old training facility - the pitt didn't survive.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 07:03 AM
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I wanted to pitch in here because I encountered this with Sora on our first walk (he's also 8 months old). However, I can write it off that it "may" be a 1-time thing - he's just moved to a whole new place, with new stuff to see/hear, and we have a lot of bikes in the park (which may have made him uncomfortable). (I'd taken him on his first walk in the park around my house; another dog came up to say "hi" and Sora immediately snapped, raised hackles, etc. I'm pretty grateful the owner had their dog on a leash - in this case, I think Sora was just a bit tense from so much "new" stuff being thrown at him)

However, more re: the OP - when I got both of my furkids (my girl, Jaina, came home with me about 6 years ago now, and Sora came home less than a week ago), I knew that with a Doberman I might not be able to send them to group socialization. Like Fitzmar mentioned, it's the reality of our breed. Jaina's a VERY social dog - moreso than typical with a Doberman. She goes to daycare almost every single day; they actually use her to socialize puppies coming to the facility for the first time, or some of the rescues that board there during the day that they're trying to adopt out. I got incredibly lucky with her; I'm not expecting the same luck with Sora. Park days are likely to ONLY involve Jaina; I know after the incident from a few days ago that socializing him with other dogs will be hard, necessary, and probably not involve the ease that I did with Jaina.

I'll add to John's post too: crate/contain your dogs when you aren't home. It's not cruelty; cruelty is coming home to a bloody mess, or your dog eating a pencil (or something) while you were away and choking on it, because you didn't opt to crate or otherwise contain them. It's for their own good.

Want to also +1 to Control_Freak's post. Jaina's never really been an instigator at the park, but she was chased off a community park at 2 years old when she was blamed for another dog acting out aggressively (it was an unneutered male shepard - I just chose to never go back. The owner had the typical excuse of "he's never done that before, so it must be YOUR dog"). We've also been charged by various chihuahuahs and other dogs in our complex.

Back when I lived in California, there was a shiba inu and a pittbull puppy. One dog attacked the other. I'm phrasing it this way because most would jump to the conclusion of "oh, that poor shiba!" But truth is, the pitt barely made it out alive and is now terrified of all other dogs. It was an absolute horror scene in the elevator (I found out about this because J was friends with the pitt). In another case, a Chi charged a pitt at Jaina's old training facility - the pitt didn't survive.
I wonder if Sora wasn't well socialized by previous owners/breeder (can't remember how you got him at a later age), or he just overwhelmed with all the new changes. Either way hopefully you can work through it and at least get him to behave somewhat nicely. I'm going through the same thing with Rizzo and not only is it frustrating but can be quite embarassing! You should have seen the commotion my two made over the weekend, I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide...LOL

Also, a chihuahua attacked a pitt and the pitt died?!? Did I read that right?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 07:13 AM
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Also, I'd like to add for the OP....

Don't stress too much and worry that you have this aggressive doberman that is only 8 months old and getting bigger and stronger everyday. I did that with my first doberman too, she acted up, she was reactive, she would jump up, mouth my arm, and grumble at me when I would correct her.....I was terrified and like OMG what have I done...blah blah blah, and then the more anxiety I got the worse she behaved! Dogs that haven't reached sexual maturity rarely show actual aggression, in fact most dogs rarely show actual aggression. Work through it, and if you are having a hard time doing it on your own, find a QUALIFIED trainer to help.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 07:24 AM
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Hoss is almost 3.....but I had issues at 9 months......someone on this forum suggested for me to read a book called
B.A.T. 2.0 by Grisha Stewart..........Behavior Adjustment Training.......you can find some lessons online also.......this was the best training book I have ever used........check it out.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
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I wonder if Sora wasn't well socialized by previous owners/breeder (can't remember how you got him at a later age), or he just overwhelmed with all the new changes. Either way hopefully you can work through it and at least get him to behave somewhat nicely. I'm going through the same thing with Rizzo and not only is it frustrating but can be quite embarassing! You should have seen the commotion my two made over the weekend, I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide...LOL

Also, a chihuahua attacked a pitt and the pitt died?!? Did I read that right?
The chi managed to nick an artery on the pitt's neck - it was pretty grisley

And Sora's breeder is pretty well-known - trust me, he had *lots* of socialization I think it was just too much going on and he was overwhelmed. I just wanted to relate to the OP that sometimes aggression can be the result of too many new things being thrown at a young dog. Socialization will help

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Because Jaina's a dog.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 08:41 AM
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The chi managed to nick an artery on the pitt's neck - it was pretty grisley

And Sora's breeder is pretty well-known - trust me, he had *lots* of socialization I think it was just too much going on and he was overwhelmed. I just wanted to relate to the OP that sometimes aggression can be the result of too many new things being thrown at a young dog. Socialization will help
Wow thatís so sad

Foxfire is an amazing breeder, I have no doubt they do an great job raising their puppies, I just wasnít sure if he was a rehome or not. If I lived on the West Coast I would jump at the chance to get a foxfire dog!!! Heís beautiful btw.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for all the info and ill look in to that B.A.T 2.0 book

Ive been taking Vlad out to the same dog park since he was 13 weeks and he plays with all the same dogs most days (at most there will be 8 dogs ranging from Frenches to american staffys) and theres never any problems even when new dogs come over to play, Theres only issues when a intact male comes over and they usually have a quick stand off then something happens and being a doberman its ends up being my fault.....
even atm i have a couple of my mates over with there dogs and they are just playing out the back and its the first time one of the have came over

Because Vlad is always off-leash hes usually out of reach when something happens and hes recall isnt the best yet, im going to start doing private lessons with him
also got a muzzle on the way so if something happens there will be minimal damage
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:48 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the info and ill look in to that B.A.T 2.0 book

Ive been taking Vlad out to the same dog park since he was 13 weeks and he plays with all the same dogs most days (at most there will be 8 dogs ranging from Frenches to american staffys) and theres never any problems even when new dogs come over to play, Theres only issues when a intact male comes over and they usually have a quick stand off then something happens and being a doberman its ends up being my fault.....
even atm i have a couple of my mates over with there dogs and they are just playing out the back and its the first time one of the have came over

Because Vlad is always off-leash hes usually out of reach when something happens and hes recall isnt the best yet, im going to start doing private lessons with him
also got a muzzle on the way so if something happens there will be minimal damage
Just because Vlad was okay with those dogs before, doesn't mean he will be okay with them as he sexually matures. He is trying to find his place in the world and he's starting adolescence, there is a very good chance that he will try to assert his dominance on any dog male dog that he feels challenged by. Read the warning signs now and PLEASE stop taking your dog to the dog park, before you end up with a dog that is actually aggressive. Also, it is completely irresponsible to take your dog to a dog park or allow him to play with other dogs with a muzzle on! You have left him no way to defend himself if something bad happens, if you're worried that he is going to hurt another dog then he doesn't belong in a dog park. Lastly, if your dog does not have an impeccable recall you should not be allowing him off leash.

Dogs do not need dog parks, it is a human emotion that people think their dog needs doggy friends. IN fact many behavior problems actually manifest in a dog park situation. Does he need to be well socialized? Yes, but there are better ways to do it.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 09:08 AM
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I agree, no more dog parks and no more male (neutered or not) play buddies. Females only. It's normal for a male dobermans to be same sex aggressive, it's something that's bred into the dog, and you're not going to be able to change it. The fact that he's showing it this early on is a sign you may have a very male aggressive dog as he ages, especially if you do nothing to keep him away from dog park type situations. Continuing that is only going to escalate his aggression. As an adult you can expect him to walk on leash near other males okay, so long as you work on that but he's likely not going to be able to be off leash with other males. The bottom line is that this is not a "dog park" breed and you're setting him up for failure if you continue to take him.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 11:49 AM
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Hi, Best to wait until he is fully grown before you neuter him in my opinion, there has been lots of health issues linked to early spay or neutering.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 01:29 PM
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Hi,

Neutering can actually make it worse. I properly socialized my male and he started the same thing around a year old. I encourage you to not take your dog to dog parks and PLEASE don't put a muzzle on him if you do. That could be his only form of protection, on top of that he could feel MORE vulnerable and be more aggressive because of the muzzle. I have worked diligently with my male and he's no longer reactive to other males but he will never like another strange dog in his face. The breed is bred for personal protection, they love their humans, not so much other dogs.

Here's a little blog on if neutering fixes behavior issues:

The ?Quick Fix??: Neutering As A Treatment For Aggression ? Dr. Jen's Dog Blog
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 01:58 PM
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Why would anyone want to live with an aggressive puppy? Having adopted an older male, who was neutered, he was great with other dogs, but killed the goat on the ranch I was managing. Took him for training, but trainer said he was "unstable" and I eventually had to put him down.
Sam thing happened when I adopted another male he was insane and tried to kill my cat. After getting him to release he, he turned on me. Bleeding, I took him to a Doberman Rescue immediately. he did get a new home.
I will never buy or adopt another male.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 02:02 PM
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Hoss and I dealt with issues similar to yours and I found training classes were the way to go.
I still take training classes to this very day....anything that exposes him to people, dogs, and commotion (in a controlled atmosphere). He comes home exhausted !!!LOL
The classes also taught me how to read my dog's body language allowing me to know when he was starting to "target" anything. This allowed me to catch the signs of "targeting" early ...allowing me to redirect his attention or issue a correction if he was non-compliant. It's crucial to catch this "targeting".... "in the moment" so the dog will know what they are doing wrong or right. Hoss does much better now.......rarely any issues. But I always know when he is starting to target something as we are out walking.....those ears of his stand so straight............ then he glares....if I wait to long...a low growl and puffing air through his cheeks.....but now I catch it early with the ears ..then him a verbal "whisper"... "leave it" and loosen his leash .....yelling can cause more stress so I whisper....dogs can hear real good !! LOL .......Earlier I used to tighten up on the leash when I saw trouble....but I also learned I was creating stress right down the leash .......learned that from B.A.T. 2.0..........anyway ....stick with controlled environments.....then practice practice practice.....and as my trainer used to say all the time.......when are we done training our dogs ........answer: NEVER......always taking our dogs to their next level...........also so much came together with Hoss between 18 months and now.....we trained and trained and I thought he would never get some of my messages ....but then wonderful things started happening at about 18 months ... maturity makes a big difference....at 18 months all the training started coming together .....so as the saying goes "keep on keep'in on"......he will learn through daily repetition ....whats right and what's wrong ........be consistent and you will do fine.....
and yeah...no muzzles..that just creates a more stressed out dog.
Best to focus on adjusting the behavior as that will take you in the direction of a well manner dog. Hard work?- yes...........worth it? Yes
Stay in touch.....there are alot of strong opinions on this forum ..but stay with us .....their love for dogs is really strong.....not to mention some of them are pretty smart about this breed!!!
I have learned so much ....hope to get updates from you as time goes by.....

Hoss

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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffysMom View Post
Why would anyone want to live with an aggressive puppy? Having adopted an older male, who was neutered, he was great with other dogs, but killed the goat on the ranch I was managing. Took him for training, but trainer said he was "unstable" and I eventually had to put him down.
Sam thing happened when I adopted another male he was insane and tried to kill my cat. After getting him to release he, he turned on me. Bleeding, I took him to a Doberman Rescue immediately. he did get a new home.
I will never buy or adopt another male.
There are many different types of aggression, and sometimes aggression can be warranted (excused). Dobermans have a very high prey drive and some can not be around other animals or dogs of the same sex, as mentioned in this thread by myself and others. This breed was bred to be a personal protector for his human, NOT to work in a pack, like a hound, or be around livestock, like a herding or livestock guarding breed.
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffysMom View Post
Why would anyone want to live with an aggressive puppy? Having adopted an older male, who was neutered, he was great with other dogs, but killed the goat on the ranch I was managing. Took him for training, but trainer said he was "unstable" and I eventually had to put him down.
Sam thing happened when I adopted another male he was insane and tried to kill my cat. After getting him to release he, he turned on me. Bleeding, I took him to a Doberman Rescue immediately. he did get a new home.
I will never buy or adopt another male.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
There are many different types of aggression, and sometimes aggression can be warranted (excused). Dobermans have a very high prey drive and some can not be around other animals or dogs of the same sex, as mentioned in this thread by myself and others. This breed was bred to be a personal protector for his human, NOT to work in a pack, like a hound, or be around livestock, like a herding or livestock guarding breed.
In addition to what GK said, I don't think there's nearly enough evidence to say this pup is aggressive. Many people, especially those inexperienced with the breed, start to see "aggression" in adolescent puppies, when what they are really seeing is...adolescent behavior, especially in pups that haven't had adequate training. I don't see anything in the OP's post that leads me to say this is an aggressive puppy. Could it be? Sure. Could it also just be an unruly teenager? Sure. Without "boots on the ground", so to speak, none of us know what's really going on.

I personally find it sad that an experience with one male dog ruined all males for you. I had a female that was poorly bred, anxious, reactive, and increasingly aggressive. We worked with her for years and years. I learned a ton about training and behavior. We did eventually have to euthanize her and it was a heartbreaking experience, but what it taught ME was to how to find responsible, ethical breeders so that I could find lovely, well bred, stable, fabulous dogs, and how to be the best trainer I can be. My current female is a joy to train and work with. I'm sorry you had bad experiences, but I think you may have learned the wrong lesson.


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