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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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2 Male Litter-mates

Hi all,
This is my first post on the forum and I’ve recently been exposed to a wealth of information, so thank you all for that. My brother recently got 2 male Doberman littermates, and needless to say, we were unaware of the red flags there. The boys are now 13 weeks old and we haven’t had any problems with them thus far, though their playtime has gotten a bit more vocal. I’ve read countless articles and posts about the dangers of raising two males (especially littermates) together, but my whole family is quite attached to the two of them now and we would like to do anything possible to avoid a heartbreaking situation. We also have an older male yorki who I hope may improve the dynamic between the two and breakup some of that “littermate syndrome”. We try to socialize the dogs with other dogs/people as much as possible and we are planning on having them professionally trained. Any advice on how to move forward and raise 2 happy dobies would be so greatly appreciated, as I have spent my day worried sick about having to get rid of one of the babies 😞 Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 04:16 PM
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Welcome to the forum. That said.....you have a recipe for disaster on more than one front. Others will be along soon to give you some advice and hopefully a remedy for this situation. Please stick around you are going to need help with this.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maadisonthomaas View Post
Hi all,
This is my first post on the forum and I’ve recently been exposed to a wealth of information, so thank you all for that. My brother recently got 2 male Doberman littermates, and needless to say, we were unaware of the red flags there. The boys are now 13 weeks old and we haven’t had any problems with them thus far, though their playtime has gotten a bit more vocal. I’ve read countless articles and posts about the dangers of raising two males (especially littermates) together, but my whole family is quite attached to the two of them now and we would like to do anything possible to avoid a heartbreaking situation. We also have an older male yorki who I hope may improve the dynamic between the two and breakup some of that “littermate syndrome”. We try to socialize the dogs with other dogs/people as much as possible and we are planning on having them professionally trained. Any advice on how to move forward and raise 2 happy dobies would be so greatly appreciated, as I have spent my day worried sick about having to get rid of one of the babies 😞 Thank you!
If the whole family has become attached to the littermates is there perhaps, a familiy member who would like to take one of the puppies and raise it separately from the littermate.

The"littermate syndrome" isn't just about the two puppies bonding so completely to each other that the people get left out. And Dobes are a breed which is well known for same sex aggression. You can't count on two male Dobes getting along with each other even when they have been raised together and have always gotten along well--several of the regular posters have had two males who got along just fine, played together, slept on the same dog bed and all was fine until it wasn't. And when it suddenly wasn't the dogs had gone from being the best of friends to wanting to kill each other and it became a crate and rotate--total separation situation.

Another male in the mix even if it's a yorkie isn't likely to anything more that create even more possible problems.

At the age these littermates are now I wouldn't expect you to have problems and in fact often puppies of the same age will play nicely with reach other for many more months. Sometimes for all of their lives--but it's not something I'd want to count on.

As far as having them "professionally" trained. Here's an uninvited opinion. The most successful training of dogs is that where the owner(s) finds a good trainer offering good classes and devote the time and evergy to taking the puppy to the class and learning from the trainer how to train a dog and how to deal with problems as they come up. The most unsuccessful training is done by "trainers" often with the dog staying in a kennel owned and operated by the "trainer". At the end of the "training" the trainer usually has the owner come in and learn (in a couple of short sessions) how to make the puppy behave according to the training by the "trainer".

Also for the record--it is the opinion of an awful lot of very skilled trainers that you can't "train" dogs out of being same sex aggressive (just as neutering doesn't stop that either)--at best you might be able to keep a pair of dogs like this who end up being aggressive toward each other to avoid situations where the dogs come into contact with each other.

So, I wish you all the very best luck but there is a very good reason that there are all these articles with red flags about doing this very thing.

dobebug
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Last edited by dobebug; 06-06-2020 at 04:37 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your information, I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle in my household because everyone thinks it will be just fine, but at this point I have done too much research and heard too many stories to really believe that. In response to your training advice, I completely agree, and our intention is for us to be trained more than the dogs so we know how to deal with them firsthand. Thank you again, I will try to update the situation as they come.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 06:01 PM
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I would agree with Bug, in that I think it's unlikely to have a great outcome, both because of the littermate situation, and because of the two male situation.

If you absolutely cannot convince your family otherwise, you will essentially need to try to raise the puppies separately as much as you can to prevent dependence on one another. Don't crate them in the same room. Keep them apart as much as you can, and only do small play sessions. Don't have them together all the time. Separate training. Separate time with the family. The problem is being always together creates very, very dependent dogs. It's incredibly hard to do it correctly (not even accounting for the potential two male situation). I know some people who have done it and it's really, really tough. My agility trainer, for example, kept two siblings. But...dog training is her career, and her dogs are her ENTIRE life. And it was STILL hard and still all consuming. Keeping the dogs separated enough was a TON of work.

Here's an article that may help: https://nancytanner.com/2018/09/13/t...g-littermates/

I wouldn't recommend it. You also have to consider the heartbreak of losing two dogs in a relatively short time when they age.

Again, none of that even considers the issues with two males.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 06:12 PM
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Same sex aggression in dobermans is real--generally you don't see much signs of it until the dogs mature, but then, at any time, even if the dogs have been best friends for years, one dog says something the other can't stand and the fight is on. They literally will try to kill each other. And once they've decided they hate each other, you can't go back to having them friends again.

You can't really train the aggression out of them and neutering the dogs makes no difference. You can teach them to behave fairly well on a leash, so that they are at least manageable, but who wants to keep their dogs leashed (even inside your own home, remember) so there is no chance they might start a fight? Some can't even be in the same room together, which means crate and rotate for the rest of their lives.

If you think it would be hard to rehome one of your puppies now, just think of how hard it will be when you've had them both for 2 or 3 years.

You might want to take a look at these threads and see if there is some ammunition you can use to persuade your family members that they may be headed for trouble if they try to keep both dobes. Not only that, having a little male dog in the mix is asking for trouble too. Perhaps you can explain to them that if he really gets involved (and the aggression may be addressed to any male dog, not just another doberman) he would likely be killed before you can do anything about it.

Blunt speech here--and it may seem to be overreacting because a few people do manage to keep two male dobes together--but it is the kind of thing that will show up unexpectedly and suddenly. You will never be able to allow the dogs together once they've reacted to each other, and sometimes the damage (maybe to whoever tries to break them apart; maybe to another dog) can't be repaired.


https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...questions.html

https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...ggression.html
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 06:47 PM
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You need to try to get your family to listen to what the others have written. They may not listen now, but when the boys are about 9-15 months old and you have had a serious dog fight and one or both of them are injured and possibly some of your family while breaking up the dog fight, it will be a whole different matter.

Cut your losses and find a new home for one of them. It will be the best for all of you in the future, including the dogs.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2020, 11:33 PM
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Ok... Having had several two male Doberman households, I feel that I would be remiss if I did not offer the following advice:

Do not go down this road.

I have experienced pretty much all of the basic scenarios when raising two boys.

I had 2 males 3 years apart who always interacted very well up until the day the oldest passed.

We currently have two males about 5 years apart who generally get along, especially as the senior has gotten quite along in years. We have aways taken precautions with them. They have never shared toys or bowls. They eat in separate rooms. They sleep in separate rooms and they are never left alone unsupervised. Even under my watchful eye, I may have to intervene at times to prevent things from escalating.

And, unfortunately, I have also had the experience that dobebug mentioned above. Two boys who were over 2 years apart in age, raised together. They were best of friends, shared everything. They would sleep together, drink at the same time out of the same bowl and vie for their little "mutt" sister's attention. That is until , one day out of the blue, one of them decided that his older "brother" had to die. Just like that... An instant death match.

I was able to separate them. although I was severely injured. We ended up in a strict "crate and rotate" situation for several years until the older boy died from natural causes. Our home went from an easy going three dog environment to the dog household from hell.

Living with two dogs who want to fight each other to the death is scary and very stressful to say the least.

So.. the bottom line is that unless one is willing to assume all the necessary work, precautions and risks involved with owning 2 males and be acutely aware of possible devastating consequences... Stick with a male/female household and keep your pups 2-3 years apart in age.

This is, of course, just my opinion,. Others may feel differently.

BTW, just as a note, I have had Doberman's since 1974. All males. Never females.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-07-2020, 09:28 AM
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I will echo what the others are saying. While I have 2 male dobermans I would not do it were they anywhere close in age. Mine are 11 years apart and I still have to be careful not let ANY kind of evil eye, posturing, grumbling etc. behavior fly. I did not get into this situation thinking I would have a healthy 13.5 year old dog either but I have been fortunate in that regard.
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