Join Date: Sep 2016
Dogs Name: Tell us your dogs name
Gallery Pics: 0 Visit oberonandbella's Gallery
Thanked 50 Times in 20 Posts
Management vs. possibility of training
I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum area, if not please feel free to let me know/move it.
I have a female dobe, now 11 years old, and our JRT-mix, now 16 years old, (also female) who have never gotten along real well, and up until now we've just managed the issue. Our living situation was a bit different and we could do that fairly easily due to the way the home was constructed and a few other issues related to who was in the house to provide company etc.
Last July, we moved, and left the female doberman with our college-age son, who didn't move with us. JRT-mix was happy to have no sister to bother her. However, the female doberman has had to have a pretty serious surgery, and now is starting to have some special needs which my son at his age can't really deal with. I work from home, so the obvious answer was to bring her back with my husband and I, because I can deal with her needs.
Both dogs are seniors and pretty set in their ways at this age, the JRT-mix is somewhat deaf, but they both are still very physically fit. The doberman weighs (at full health) around 65 lbs, the JRT-mix about 20. We kept them separate because the JRT-mix will growl even when just being "casually investigated/sniffed" by the dobe, and the dobe thinks that's not cool and wants to end her. At first, when they were younger, the JRT-mix wouldn't submit and the fight got scary. The last time they were together (9 years ago) the JRT DID submit, the fight took place behind my back when I was filling the water dish and was clearly over resources (they were both thirsty), and no one was injured. The doberman has hung out with other (even female) dogs before, but it seems that only certain dogs trigger the "I will kill you" setting. The JRT ALSO hangs out with other little dogs without issue. I haven't tried the JRT with a big dog other than our old dobe, who grew up with her and loved her (but he passed away).
Separation is still possible, but due to the way the house is constructed and the fact that it's just myself and my husband, management is a bit harder. We've started going for walks together and they can walk side-by-side on the street with no issue. We tried a little bit of an intro and the dobe wants the JRT to be nowhere near me, and becomes very alert when she's moving around, but if the JRT settles and follows the rules, the dobe will settle and stop paying attention to her. It's just difficult for the JRT to follow the rules.
So my question is - is it even rational at this point to think that training would work? These are two senior pretty set in their ways dogs. I'm also wondering if I'm intervening too much. I'm just afraid that the "ending her" will actually happen due to the size difference. Also, the dobe has literally the scariest voice on earth, so her growl and snarl at the JRT is not a casual "hey you're making me mad" but rather an "I will break you, chew you up and spit you out, and break you again" kind of growl. We'll keep walking together and I'm happy to hire a trainer if that's worthwhile (I've done obedience with my dogs, but this may be a bit out of my wheelhouse), I'm just not sure at this point (ok, plus I'm a little gun-shy because I just dropped $3500 on the dobe's surgery and hospitalization).
Edited to add: The dobe grew up with the JRT-mix and problems did not start until she got bigger. The JRT-mix was actually brilliant with both dobermans as puppies, but as they got bigger, would "put them in their place" and stopped playing/being interested in interacting.
Last edited by oberonandbella; 04-29-2019 at 04:43 PM.