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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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How well do dobermans get along with golden retrievers?

Hello all...I'm new to this forum, so forgive me if my questions are out of place or green.

Currently, I don't have a dog, but am looking to get one very soon. Actually, I'm looking to getting two. My two favorite breeds are Dobermans (though I've never actually owned one) and Golden Retrievers. Was just wondering, does anyone know how well do these two breeds get along with each other? I know that they are very different temperament wise.

I would prefer males. I read that intact male Dobies don't tend to get along with other males. So I was wondering would it make a difference if I were to get the male golden retriever first...have him for a year or so, and then get a Doberman puppy fresh from his litter? Would the Doberman being the younger of the two make it less likely to be aggressive/dominant in dealing with the slightly older dog?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 04:12 AM
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There is just no telling for sure.

As you know, Doberman males have a higher tendency to be same sex aggressive. I think that there is a slightly better chance that they might tolerate living with a male of breed like a golden *if* that male was not very dominant himself. My first male Doberman lived with a GSP male, and I used to think that maybe there was a better chance with a breed that is used to being with other males, and hunting dogs can/do hunt/work together, generally.

The problem is that you just never know. There have certainly been cases of males that live together peacefully until the day that they don't. Some males aren't really fully mature until 3 or 4 years old so maybe there is no problem for a few years and then there is, and then you've got two dogs you're attached to with a big problem.

The fact that the golden is there first doesn't necessarily matter. Genes are genes, and they are probably going to express themselves. And you can't see them until they do.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 09:25 AM
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Personally, I wouldn't risk it, especially as someone who hasn't owned the breed before. I doubt a good breeder would sell you a Doberman male if you already had a male in the household. Like Mary said, it's pretty hard to predict the adult temperament of a male. Puppies are social with other dogs, so they aren't going to have an issue when you take them home. Your boy would stay social until...he doesn't. If you aren't a really experienced owner, you might miss the subtle signs of an impending fight, and you really, really don't want to be in the middle of a dog fight.

Additionally, ask yourself...what happens if you end up with a male that can't live happily with your other dog? Do you want to live a lifestyle where you have to constantly have one dog locked up while the other is out? Rotating the two, never having them together? Being really vigilant to make sure they never interact? That's the "crate and rotate" lifestyle that owners of two males have to live. While you might get lucky and your male is fine, you also might not, and then...you have two dogs you love that can't live together. And you either live like that for the rest of their lives, or one dog goes back to their breeder to be rehomed.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 09:36 AM
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Hi Marc. And welcome from the Pacific NW.

So. What Mary and Dobes said ^^^^.

Our home has experienced the exact scenario described. Two males, two years apart, raised from puppies. Great buddies until one decided his "brother" needed to die. It literally happened over night. It never went away. The had to be kept completely separate for several years until the oldest passed from age related natural causes.

The third dog in our mix, was a small female "mutt". She continued to get along with both dogs as usual.

Granted, this is a worst case scenario. Still... It is scary and stressful and, for the average owner, probably not worth the risk of owning 2 males when one or more is a Doberman.

Just for the record, I still have issues with my wrist and hand after being severely bitten while separating my boys during their "death match". That was over 30 years ago.

BTW, Personally, I would separate all dogs raised together by 2 or more years.

Best to you

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 09:46 AM
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OK Marc,

The above posts are the reality of the situation and I've give you the other side. I've kept only male Dobes for years. During this time those male's lived and all survived it with an Australian Shepherd. But I've had a lot of experience with an all male household and I'm very careful about the dogs I choose to become part of that household.

Golden's--well I work for and have worked for a vet clinic for the last 15 years or so. I have Dobermans, two of our vets had Goldens and one had a Lab. My Dobes and the Goldens and the Labs got along famously with each other with the exception of the youngest of a string of Goldens that one of the vets has--he was a bully from the get go-got banned from the puppy day care that had been used for the three preceding Goldens.

That was the only Golden who didn't get along with my Dobes (who were all intact males) but he didn't really get along with other dogs--period. He even tried to pick fights with the elderly, pacific Goldens in his house hold.

But males with males when one or both are Dobes is always a kind of iffy proposition so now you are forewarned.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2020, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hello all! I wanna thank you for your quality feedback and advice. I really appreciate it. I had a Golden/Rough Collie Mix about 15 years ago, and so I'm familiar with their general personalities. Never had a doberman, but I've always wanted one and felt that since I'm not completely inexperienced with owning a dog, I'd be ready to take on the task of having one.

I think you all reiterated what I already knew, that in general male dogs don't easily reconcile the presence of other males...especially more dominant breeds like Dobes. I guess I was just hoping that maybe there could be some kind of workaround that could manipulate the situation for a better result. But I certainly don't want to create an environment that could be hostile, dangerous or unfair. I'm still set on having both breeds, but I guess I'll just have to reconcile that one would need to be male and the other a female.

Here's hoping that a male doberman can get along with a female golden...or a male golden can get along with a female doberman.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-13-2020, 12:59 PM
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Most dogs of any breeds will get along with each other given that one is female. I wouldn't recommend getting two as puppies at the same time but getting one and having a couple to three year age gap between that one and the next.

That should work fine.

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