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2 Pups
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I'm new to the site and just bought two black, male Dobermans (littermates) at age 7.5 weeks. They are currently 10.5 weeks old. I had the intention of only buying one, but couldn't decide between the two and ended up with both. I also have an 8-year-old lab.:2smile:

I'm very content with my decision and am aware of the amount of work it will take to raise two puppies. I previously had a Doberman and sadly lost him after an emergency surgery. I lost my husband five years ago and our Dobie was previously his, so it was even more distressing. I absolutely love the breed and am very excited to have these boys.

I was hoping to receive some advice in regards to training TWO (please no negativity in regards to getting two - it's an irreversible decision and negativity will not help; I'd prefer to look at the situation positively and do my best to raise these two boys into well-behaved adults). I have seen some negative articles online in regards to getting littermates, but have heard of positive personal experiences from people I've met.

Anyways, down to business. I'm currently taking them on separate walks as well as together. I crate them separately every night.
:idea:--> Advice: Doing things separate is good, right? They still play together all the time apart from this. I allow them to play a little rough (read that's standard in dobie pups), and step in when they go too far.

They are getting their ears cropped this Friday.
:idea:--> Advice: Debating between medium vs long/show cut? Thoughts? Planning on allowing them to flop for 1-week post-surgery. I'll start posting after stitches are out. Best way to do it? Athletic tape? Foam?

We are still working on potty training and I am going to implement the bell-on-the-door idea. I praise like crazy whenever they potty outside and typically reward with treats. I have a fenced-in backyard which is handy.
:idea:-->Advice: Any good tips?

I plan on doing puppy obedience class with them in July.
:idea:-->Advice: Since I have two, it brings up the dilemma of registering both in the same class and bringing a friend to take one, or finding another trainer and doing one night with one pup and another night with the other. Thoughts?

Since I will have 3 male dogs in my home, I know I need to establish myself as pack leader. I do NOT want dominance issues.
:idea:-->Advice here? Should I get them fixed? (My lab is fixed.)

Sorry for the storybook. Looking for any and all advice. Many thanks :2smile:.
 

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Got mutt?
Leo, Lily, and Simon
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14,228 Posts
Welcome to DT.

To be honest, my advice is to return both of them to the person you got them from, and look for a female from a good breeder.
 

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Got mutt?
Leo, Lily, and Simon
Joined
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14,228 Posts
My comments in purple.

Hello!

I'm new to the site and just bought two black, male Dobermans (littermates) at age 7.5 weeks. They are currently 10.5 weeks old. I had the intention of only buying one, but couldn't decide between the two and ended up with both. I also have an 8-year-old lab.:2smile:

Bad idea. VERY bad idea. Dobermans, males especially,
are prone to same sex aggression. It's not something that can be trained out of them. You can go along fine for years, and then BAM! one of them decides they don't like the other one, and its all over. There is also just the plain trouble of raising two puppies. You will need to do pretty much everything separately.

I'm very content with my decision and am aware of the amount of work it will take to raise two puppies. I previously had a Doberman and sadly lost him after an emergency surgery. I lost my husband five years ago and our Dobie was previously his, so it was even more distressing. I absolutely love the breed and am very excited to have these boys.

I was hoping to receive some advice in regards to training TWO (please no negativity in regards to getting two - it's an irreversible decision and negativity will not help; I'd prefer to look at the situation positively and do my best to raise these two boys into well-behaved adults). I have seen some negative articles online in regards to getting littermates, but have heard of positive personal experiences from people I've met.

Anyways, down to business. I'm currently taking them on separate walks as well as together. I crate them separately every night.
:idea:--> Advice: Doing things separate is good, right? They still play together all the time apart from this. I allow them to play a little rough (read that's standard in dobie pups), and step in when they go too far.

Yes, just about everything will need to be done separately.

They are getting their ears cropped this Friday.
:idea:--> Advice: Debating between medium vs long/show cut? Thoughts? Planning on allowing them to flop for 1-week post-surgery. I'll start posting after stitches are out. Best way to do it? Athletic tape? Foam?

Why didn't the breeder take care of this? There are very few good breeders who will sell an uncropped pup, and that's only with the expectation that they will stay uncropped.

We are still working on potty training and I am going to implement the bell-on-the-door idea. I praise like crazy whenever they potty outside and typically reward with treats. I have a fenced-in backyard which is handy.
:idea:-->Advice: Any good tips?

Again, separately.

I plan on doing puppy obedience class with them in July.
:idea:-->Advice: Since I have two, it brings up the dilemma of registering both in the same class and bringing a friend to take one, or finding another trainer and doing one night with one pup and another night with the other. Thoughts?

Separate classes on separate nights.

Since I will have 3 male dogs in my home, I know I need to establish myself as pack leader. I do NOT want dominance issues.
:idea:-->Advice here? Should I get them fixed? (My lab is fixed.)

"Pack Leader" dominance based training philosopies have been pretty thoroughly debunked in the past few decades. As I said above,
same sex aggression is inherent in the breed. Altering them makes no difference.

Sorry for the storybook. Looking for any and all advice. Many thanks :2smile:.
My advice of returning them, and looking for a female still stands.
 

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Big Lil pup
Joined
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7,295 Posts
Well.... To begin with:
I would definitely read up thoroughly on the prevention of "literate syndrome".While not a foregone conclusion, the chance of major training and behavioral problems with your new pups is considerable. If you do keep them together, it could be a really rough go.

There also is the consideration of having 3 males,with two being Dobermans, in the same household. I have owned 2-3 males at one time. However, I would never recommend it to the average Dobe owner. Even when things are good, it can be tough. These are very demanding dogs. If things go south (and they can quickly), it can become a nightmare. I've been there.
Hence you should probably also educate yourself on Same Sex Aggression in Dobermans.It is real and common.

So.... The bottom line is that, IMO, you and your new pups have a potentially very tough road ahead of you. I would suggest taking one of the puppies back to the breeder. Also, as Rosemary indicated, you probably would be better off with a female, given that your current dog is male.

All this is just my opinion, of course, but your current situation moving forward does concern me.

John
Portland OR
 

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Registered
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Can you have problems because of all the above mentioned issues? Yes. So what can you do about it since your mind is made up about the situation. Three things, Training, Training and more Training. Will that mean you won't have problems? No. This will partly depend on how much training you put in and how honest you are about what is going on in your house. Do they need to be trained separately or together? The obvious answer is Both. For the dogs to truly understand the commands and to focus you work individually and once they are done you still keep going through those basics individually to reinforce those commands. You work them together because in your house that is the day to day reality. It is called real life distractions. You work them together in as many different circumstances as you can. If one dog acts up you still expect all the others to obey. This can only be tested out when they are together. Working them together can also help with the other mentioned problems that could and very likely will arise.

What did I mean by being honest about what is going on in your house? being aware of the body language each dog is showing as problems first begin to appear. If problems between males begins to appear you will not want to trust them together when you are not there or they are not being supervised. To be honest most people don't know the body language of dogs well enough to notice these problems beginning. So in their minds just all of a sudden the males got in a fight and from that point on they couldn't be in the same room again. Now it can happen just that fast over something. But usually it starts out more subtle but goes unnoticed.
 

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Premium Member
Mocha
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4,792 Posts
Please read and very carefully consider the advice you've been given so far by people who have owned this breed for a long, long, time. I was aware of same sex aggression from reading about it on this very forum; we had a male Shih-Tzu and we were very specific in the Doberman puppy we were looking for; female, good temperament, low drive, and we ended up having to look and wait for well over a year to get that very dog.
 

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Alpha schmalpha
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4,303 Posts
I would like to say the above comments are not to be mean or disrespectful of you but only to look at the welfare of your pups and their future.
The pups you received are not from a responsible breeder , to give you two pups at that age is proof. This does not mean that there will be something inherently wrong with them but the odds are higher. It can be a expensive and heartbreaking future!
My only advice is to return them to the person person you got them from and find a female from a quality breeder.
 

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Big Lil pup
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7,295 Posts
I would like to reiterate what alan j. said ^^^^^^^:

"I would like to say the above comments are not to be mean or disrespectful of you but only to look at the welfare of your pups and their future."

Please do not disappear because you feel that you are being disrespected. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So...Welcome to DT from the Pacific NW. Regardless of how your dog/home situation ends up, there will always be folks with years and years of experience with Dobermans, willing to help.

Best to you and your boys

John
Portland OR
 

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Premium Member
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8,915 Posts
Not being mean, but whoever sold you two male littermates while you already have a male in your home is at best an idiot, and at worst a greedy slime ball.
Save yourself the heartache that is sure to come your way and return both of them, then look for a female from a better breeder. At the VERY least, rehome one of them. Littermates together is tough, male littermates together is horrible. Even if they don't fight right away, eventually they will. This is no way to live and especially a terrible life for the dogs.
I'm speaking from 25 years of experience in Dobermans and over 15 years on the forums where I have watched situations like yours end in disaster. As a very occasional show breeder, I will tell you that I would never do what your breeder did.
 

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Super Moderator
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22,832 Posts
Hello!

I'm new to the site and just bought two black, male Dobermans (littermates) at age 7.5 weeks. They are currently 10.5 weeks old. I had the intention of only buying one, but couldn't decide between the two and ended up with both. I also have an 8-year-old lab.:2smile:

I'm very content with my decision and am aware of the amount of work it will take to raise two puppies. I previously had a Doberman and sadly lost him after an emergency surgery. I lost my husband five years ago and our Dobie was previously his, so it was even more distressing. I absolutely love the breed and am very excited to have these boys.

I was hoping to receive some advice in regards to training TWO (please no negativity in regards to getting two - it's an irreversible decision and negativity will not help; I'd prefer to look at the situation positively and do my best to raise these two boys into well-behaved adults). I have seen some negative articles online in regards to getting littermates, but have heard of positive personal experiences from people I've met.

Anyways, down to business. I'm currently taking them on separate walks as well as together. I crate them separately every night.
:idea:--> Advice: Doing things separate is good, right? They still play together all the time apart from this. I allow them to play a little rough (read that's standard in dobie pups), and step in when they go too far.

They are getting their ears cropped this Friday.
:idea:--> Advice: Debating between medium vs long/show cut? Thoughts? Planning on allowing them to flop for 1-week post-surgery. I'll start posting after stitches are out. Best way to do it? Athletic tape? Foam?

We are still working on potty training and I am going to implement the bell-on-the-door idea. I praise like crazy whenever they potty outside and typically reward with treats. I have a fenced-in backyard which is handy.
:idea:-->Advice: Any good tips?

I plan on doing puppy obedience class with them in July.
:idea:-->Advice: Since I have two, it brings up the dilemma of registering both in the same class and bringing a friend to take one, or finding another trainer and doing one night with one pup and another night with the other. Thoughts?

Since I will have 3 male dogs in my home, I know I need to establish myself as pack leader. I do NOT want dominance issues.
:idea:-->Advice here? Should I get them fixed? (My lab is fixed.)

Sorry for the storybook. Looking for any and all advice. Many thanks :2smile:.
I don't know if you're going to check back in, or be open to anything that has been said. I hope you'll at least consider the advice of people like Fitzmar, who have been in this breed for decades.

If not, let me at least offer this:

Walking separately, crating separately, etc., will not be enough for these pups to establish independence from one another and from your other dog. If you are truly determined to try this, you will need to keep these puppies almost completely separated. They will need separate training classes, separate walks, separate time with you, and very little time with one another every day in order to become independent, successful dogs. It's a big task, and I've rarely seen that done successfully. On the flip side, I've seen a LOT of dogs come through rescue that are dreadfully dependent on one another, to the point of being unable to function. I've also seen a lot of dogs NOT in rescue that are similar.

Ear cropping is an art...I hope you are seeking out one of the few croppers in this country who are known for cropping Doberman ears well. Typically those are used by the show breeders, and they are few and far between. Usually the cropper picks the best shape for the ear. If you aren't experienced at posting ears, please seek help from your local Doberman club (you can find chapter clubs at www.dpca.org).

Please reconsider thinking about dog training and having three males in terms of "dominance"...more up to date thinking on wolves and dogs show that wild wolves behave much more like families, and that dominance is a more fluid concept...it's more about priority access to resources than anything else. Leadership in your household is about teaching dogs clear expectations and about training. Dogs do what works for them - what's rewarding in some way. The same-sex aggression issues in this breed are not something you can control through dominance, or leadership, or even training. This is a temperament thing that has a strong chance of happening, regardless of what you do. *However*, if you decide to keep these dogs, you should STILL work on having well trained dogs, regardless. Good obedience is a must. BUT! You absolutely MUST prepare yourself for the eventuality of same-sex aggression. What will you do if one (or more) of the males decides they hate another of the males? Are you well versed in how to break up a dog fight when they are trying to literally kill one another (and how will you do that when it's just you home alone?)? Are you prepared to life a life of having to crate and rotate dogs, possibly with locks on doors, etc.?

I urge you to think REALLY hard about this...especially the what-if plans. Because same-sex aggression and littermates starting to hate each other probably won't hit for a few years...how will you deal with it after you've had your dogs for a few years, and suddenly you can't live with all your dogs with you all the time and they want to kill each other? Or you can't live like that and you have to rehome one? We've have members who have lived that life, and I know people that do, and it's not something I'd ever want to do. I've also seen the results of ONE tiny slip up...one unlatched crate and thousands of dollars of vet bills with serious injuries.

I truly wish you the best, and I also hope you will give this a lot of open minded thought.
 

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Good Little Bad Girl
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42 Posts
When I see posts like this it reminds me of why I found these forums BEFORE I ever got my dog. The people here may come off rude or haughty but they're only looking out for the dogs' AND your best interests! Many of the people who post here have tons and tons of experience with this breed and have real and valuable advice to give. You may be feeling a little burnt right now but please don't take it personally! Hope you're able to figure out a situation that works out for all and I hope you give us an update, whatever path you choose to take. I'm so thankful I found this forum, it's been a treasure trove of information and has saved me so much anxiety and confusion as my puppy's grown. Best of luck to you and I hope everything works out for you and your puppies in the end!
 
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