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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have contacted Marsha and left several messages and no one has gotten back to me.
I don't know what went wrong with Shavo and why he turned out this way. He has been getting more and more aggressive towards everyone, even people he doesn't know. I regret not getting him neutered when he was 4 months old like I had originally planned. I was talked out of it by 'experts' here on this exact forum. I will make sure I don't follow anyone's advice again because I'm sure those same people will come blame that for why he's aggressive. 1 or 2 people on here have actually offered advice and everyone else just wants to add their 2 cents to the **** pile.
He has become increasingly aggressive even when he's not around my daughter, he is getting more aggressive towards my other dog that is in the home and has been in the home before he came around, and aggressive even if it's just me and him alone with nody else around the house. I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on months of training, and hours and hours of research and talking to experts.
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 09:42 PM
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Kind of a FYI.....Keeping males intact is a personal choice, one that I made from the beginning. And I, like you had owners tell me horror stories about intact males but I had a male that was a no fear, dominant guy that was trained and socialized to the max. Eve Auch judged him at a WAE when he was 20 months old and declared to all within earshot "this is what I was talking about....THIS is Doberman temperament". That said I have also seen neutered males that were not trustworthy and unpredictable. Could it be nature or nurture or perhaps both? Who knows. But I will tell you this, the last thing I would want to deal with is a 90# aggressive, unpredictable flake. Not fun for you.....not fun for the dog. I know how I would proceed but then the dog isn't mine.
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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 11:34 PM
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Kind of a FYI.....Keeping males intact is a personal choice, one that I made from the beginning. And I, like you had owners tell me horror stories about intact males but I had a male that was a no fear, dominant guy that was trained and socialized to the max. Eve Auch judged him at a WAE when he was 20 months old and declared to all within earshot "this is what I was talking about....THIS is Doberman temperament". That said I have also seen neutered males that were not trustworthy and unpredictable. Could it be nature or nurture or perhaps both? Who knows. But I will tell you this, the last thing I would want to deal with is a 90# aggressive, unpredictable flake. Not fun for you.....not fun for the dog. I know how I would proceed but then the dog isn't mine.
My boy just turned 5yo.. He is Foxfire's The Real McCoy. (Jewlia x Rayden)

After having my last two males castrated at about 2yo. I decided to leave McCoy intact,

He is the easiest and most socialized dog that I have ever owned.

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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 12:41 AM
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I don't think being intact or not intact has any effect on temperament - it can have an effect on behavior. In my Harvard, neutering at a much older age (7) changed some of the occasional piggy male behavior, but nothing else. If Shavo's behavior is progressively getting worse, I'd be more prone to blame that more on Psychological/mental issues than physical issues such as being intact. Dogs can be mentally ill and sometimes that is just bad luck. He could have some underlying health issue that is not easily diagnosed. At this point in time, it does no good to lay blame. You can only either manage the dog, return to the breeder to make the decision, or decide to euthanize. I don't think that anyone here is going to judge you for doing what is best for your family. I'm a mother, and my kids well-being always came before the dogs - mine are grown now, but I do understand your dilemma.
None of us know you - we can only make judgements on what we read from you. Really, the people who judged others at the drop of a hat in this forum are long gone. People can make mistakes with this breed - I've seen it happen over and over in my years on the forums. However, what you are describing with Shavo is pretty serious misbehavior on his part. The only question really is what caused it - but may not be important at this point. I am sorry you are going through this.
I have a reactive Doberman that I've been managing for years - the difference is that she is fabulous with us. I can't trust her around strange dogs or strangers, although she is fine with all the vets and vet techs. .... it is mostly issues with people in our home & any strange dog. It can be exhausting at times, and stressful. If she was aggressive towards anyone in the immediate family, it would be an easy decision to euthanize . JMHO
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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 12:59 AM
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It's hard when you've tried everything you can think of and nothing seems to work. And you are understandably bitter and heart-broken and want to hear some different advice from what you're getting here--you want to find SOMETHING that will help Shavo become stable enough to fit into SOMEONE'S home, SOMEWHERE.

Please read Meadowcat's post up above again.

We all make mistakes; most of the time our dogs are resilient enough that they can manage, in spite of our mistakes, to end up reasonably sound, though perhaps with a little scarring and some personality glitches.

And then there are other dogs who just don't have enough stability in the make-up they are born with. Their temperament is not flexible enough to allow them to go with the flow; any little mistake their owner makes gets magnified and often they get worse and worse as they age in a sort of cascade effect. You can sometimes mitigate their behavior, perhaps manage, with difficulty, to keep them in an environment where their particular issues aren't continually triggered...but sometimes that just isn't enough.

It's possible that something you did (or didn't do) exacerbated the unsoundness of his temperament; it's also possible that something you've done (or not) has actually delayed the deterioration that you're seeing in his ability to cope with his environment. When and whether you neutered him is unlikely to be the cause of his behavior though.

To me, from what you describe, Shavo just might be one of those dogs who can't manage in whatever environment he's put into. It is heart-wrenching to have a dog like that, to know he is basically miserable inside because he is continually having to face conditions he just can't handle, no matter how much help he's given.




You're up against a tough decision. It's heartbreaking; it's unfair; it's not right that you or Shavo should have to deal with this....but anger, guilt, sorrow, self-blame, blaming other people, wondering what went wrong, what might have been, wishing you could go back and change SOMETHING....ultimately, none of that will get you anywhere. You're still left with Shavo; you still have to try to figure out what is best for him, and for anyone who has to be around him. It's not easy to have someone you love, that you've invested so much energy and time into helping, still be unable to cope even on a basic level, who still can't seem to manage to fit into the world he was born into.

I really have no advice to give, but I'm sorry you're having to face this.

Last edited by melbrod; 09-17-2019 at 01:02 AM.
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post #31 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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We're very upset over this. This was the dog we got to fill a void when my dad died last year, we got him to help us through it because my dad grew up with Dobermans. We have spent so much time with him and don't want to see him go but we can't do this anymore. There's nothing else we can do, we can't afford to keep bringing in new trainers and trying to fix the issue that's deeper than my daughter hitting him. I feel like we did everything right, we socialized him, we trained him, we exercise him daily. He gets so much love from us, I don't understand why this happened. This has discouraged us completely from ever getting another dog again. If this breed is supposed to be one of the best I don't want to see what the others are like.
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post #32 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 04:18 AM
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I was struggling with something one time........I kept working it from every angle .....trying to figure out how I could make it work.......and a wise man told me this.......

Sometimes ......no matter how hard you try...things are just not going to happen the way you want them to happen.........we are all sorry you are having to make such an important decision.

Praying for you to have peace with your decisions.

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post #33 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 07:48 AM
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We're very upset over this. This was the dog we got to fill a void when my dad died last year, we got him to help us through it because my dad grew up with Dobermans. We have spent so much time with him and don't want to see him go but we can't do this anymore. There's nothing else we can do, we can't afford to keep bringing in new trainers and trying to fix the issue that's deeper than my daughter hitting him. I feel like we did everything right, we socialized him, we trained him, we exercise him daily. He gets so much love from us, I don't understand why this happened. This has discouraged us completely from ever getting another dog again. If this breed is supposed to be one of the best I don't want to see what the others are like.
All I can tell you is I've had to make that decision. It sucked. Some days, I still second guess myself. But...the temperament of that dog (poorly bred) and the dogs I have from good breeders now is night and day. Maybe some day you might be open to trying again. Or, maybe a different breed (again, from a great breeder) is a better fit for you. I can't say.

I do want to recommend something for you to read. A really, really good trainer also had to make this hard choice. Not only did she write a blog post on it, some other great people wrote in and she shared their thoughts, and they've started a private FB page for support. You might look into joining. You can join even if you're just considering euthanizing - it is a good, NON-JUDGEMENTAL place. It's not for helping you decide, it's just for support. In any case, here's the blog, and you can get the FB info in there, too: https://k9infocus.com/losing-lulu/
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post #34 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:32 PM
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Bunni- I know you feel like there are several members judging you and not actually giving you advice, you probably feel that way about me. I’m sorry about that. It doesn’t matter if Shavo is acting like this because he has a crappy temperament or stress or if it all started with the situation with your daughter, it’s still I real shitty situation you’re in.

I’d like to tell you a story about my first Doberman, Athena. I did everything wrong, decided one day that I wanted a dog, found an ad in the paper (byb) and went and picked her up at 6 weeks old, immediately went to the petstore to pick up essentials. I was completely unprepared to have a puppy, I lived in an apartment, that banned Dobermans, I was leaving in 6 months and told everyone she was a Manchester terrier. Oh and I found out later her parents were litter mates! The next year of my life was hell, here I was completely unprepared to own a Doberman and she was an absolute holy terror. She was a dominate bitch that challenged me every step of the way, she was destructive and stubborn and she would even jump up and bite my arm when I disciplined her. I was emotionally wore out, heartbroken, stressed and at the end of my rope. I didn’t know what to do or how I was going to live with this dog and I didn’t have children. I found a great trainer and she helped me so much, in a matter of months Athena had transformed into a completely different dog. I learned the harsh truth that there wasn’t anything wrong Athena and all of her behavior problems were caused by me and I learned so much about dog behavior and training. I was fortunate that my situation was remedied fairly easy but I understand that it could have went a completely different way.

I’m sorry that you are going through this, I can only imagine the heartbreak you’re experiencing trying to decide what the right decision is.
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post #35 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:09 AM
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This is so sad for all of you and your Doberman is obviously suffering as well from severe anxiety and emotional discomfort. Has he been tested for thyroid problems? I’ve had the dog who acted like this because of untreated hypothyroidism. When treated, he did not have a temperament that was balanced but he was so much better than untreated. So, even if medical treatment helps, you still may have temperament issues. By the way, although it’s not talked about much, hypothyroidism is very common in this breed.

https://www.dharmadogtraining.com/canine-hypothyroidism

THE BOONDOGGLE
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post #36 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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I spent months researching this breed before I decided on getting him. I read tons of behavioral information about the breed, how to train them, their needs and possible medical conditions. This wasn't a matter of just deciding one day to get a Doberman, although it may seem that way. We had been thinking about getting a Doberman in July of 2017 and didn't actually decide to get one until September 2018 because I wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting into and what we needed to do before we got one.
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post #37 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Hey Bunni I've been following this thread but haven't commented mostly because I don't have any insight on what to do to fix temperament. Others have given advice and suggestions, which I hope will prove to be helpful to you in the long run! I can imagine how sucky the situation is for you and Shavo. Have you come to any decisions on what to do with him?

For what it's worth, in response to your above post, I don't think Control_Freak was insinuating that you didn't do your due diligence in researching the breed before getting Shavo. I think she (or he...sorry CF! I suck at remembering real life names) was just sharing her personal story of her own temperament issue. I took it as a "you can do everything right or everything wrong, and temperament may still be a gamble" sort of thing.

I hope things work out for you in a positive way, but if they don't and you end up having to make the hard decision to put your dog down for the safety of everyone, just know that you did everything you could to help him. Good luck.
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post #38 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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The breeder still wants to take him back, and I still haven't heard from the rescue. The breeder texted me yesterday and let me know that they would be getting him neutered immediately and would work with another trainer to see what can be done. She also said she would provide me with another puppy from the new litter she currently has, which made me pretty upset, to be honest. As much as I would love to get another puppy I'm scared it would have the same temperament issues.
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post #39 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:49 PM
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Hi bunni...

Have you read your contract? Do you even have a choice not to return your Shavo to the breeder, if you are rehoming and that is their desire?

Regardless, they may have a better chance of dealing with him than a random rescue.

Also. If she is willing to provide you with another pup, I would seriously consider that option.

JMO

John
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post #40 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 03:00 PM
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The breeder still wants to take him back, and I still haven't heard from the rescue. The breeder texted me yesterday and let me know that they would be getting him neutered immediately and would work with another trainer to see what can be done. She also said she would provide me with another puppy from the new litter she currently has, which made me pretty upset, to be honest. As much as I would love to get another puppy I'm scared it would have the same temperament issues.
I am with you - given what you've said about the breeder, I would *personally* decline a replacement puppy. If you want another Doberman at some point, we can help you research a more ethical breeder and I think you'd have a better chance at a more stable temperament.

I think it's up to you about whether you decide to return him to the breeder, given that you don't have a contract.

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Hi bunni...

Have you read your contract? Do you even have a choice not to return your Shavo to the breeder, if you are rehoming and that is their desire?

Regardless, they may have a better chance of dealing with him than a random rescue.

Also. If she is willing to provide you with another pup, I would seriously consider that option.

JMO

John
Portland OR
John, she doesn't have a contract, and with all the info she's provided on this breeder....I think it would be wise of her to pass on another pup.
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post #41 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think we will accept another puppy from her. After the experience with Shavo, I think its best if we do want another to find a more responsible breeder. I would love to find another but don't have a lot of trust for any breeders now. I'm not sure how we can find another puppy with a sound temperament. This has been our first experience with this breed and I feel like its just a dud because of our choice in breeders.
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post #42 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 05:11 PM
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From what you've said, it does sound like Shavo just missed out on the stable temperament part...which is often due to someone breeding dogs who should not be.

I think you've done your best with him. I don't think you need to blame yourself.

I'm sorry your first experience with dobes turned out so badly. DT is a good resource for reputable breeders though...when you feel like you're ready for a new puppy, be sure to come here and we'll be glad to give you some ideas about what to look for in your next breeder, and possibly even some specific breeder recommendations.
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post #43 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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We got confirmation that Shavo is going to be neutered tomorrow by our vet, We're going to get that done tomorrow and let him relax with us for a few days while we wait and see if the rescue contacts us.
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post #44 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 06:48 PM
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I am going to try making contact with Marsha Sheppard right now. I can't understand her lack of response. Sorry about that.

"Lots of people talk to animals...Not very many listen, though...That's the problem. " ~ The Tao of Pooh
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post #45 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:46 AM
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Please please have Shavo tested for thyroid problems. The results should be SENT OUT TO A REPUTABLE LAB FOR ANALYSIS! All you have to do is ask for them to be sent to Michigan State for analysis. In house test results are often extremely inaccurate.

Hypothyroidism can cause extreme anxiety. “Your dog's mood swings and unexplained aggression could be caused by low thyroid function. Many people are not aware that hypo-thyroidism (low thyroid function) is a serious medical condition ... Dogs who suddenly become aggressive should be tested for low thyroid.”

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/he...ypothyroidism/

My current dog Boon was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 11 months. He is fine on medication. Don’t let the vet tell you Shavo is too young to have it!

THE BOONDOGGLE
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