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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a week since we adopted Hexa, and I'm wondering if this is expected behavior:

She and Hagan get along great for the most part. She growled at him briefly a couple of times (during the first couple of days), but other than that they've been playing, laying next to each other for naps, sitting together to get treats, sharing toys, etc. without any problems. She's mostly sweet and obedient.

What I've noticed, especially yesterday and today, is that she's now feeling very "at home". She follows me to the room where I keep their food and treats, and if he tries to enter the room she growls at him. Same thing if she's laying next to me in the study, to the point of him now not wanting to enter the room anymore, while she's there.

He's never been reactive to other dogs, loves people and kids, and is very well tempered. But now, if he feels cornered when she growls, he'll snarl back at her, instead of just walking away (like he did the first couple of days). I let them know that it's not acceptable behavior by using a firm voice and they are OK after that.

I'm hoping that this is just them testing the waters and establishing their roles, as opposed to a potential aggression problem. I don't know much about Hexa's first year and a half, but I know that her first adoptive mom returned her because she couldn't get along with her Bull Mastiff bitch. Also, her first foster parents kept her in a crate day and night.

So, I don't really know what kind of "issues" she has, but it seems that she's starting to feel that this is her house now, and Hagan is not happy with her attitude. Also, earlier today, while I was in the backyard with them, Hexa saw my next door neighbor's 3 year old girl through the fence and run towards her while barking non-stop.

Am I worrying too much too soon, or is this part of adding another adult dog to the family? I've had dogs before, but I've never been in this particular situation. Please advice! :confused:
 

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Is she a shelter dog? or from previous owner? All I know is that there is a honeymoon period when you first get a shelter dog and that often it can take up to a month before their real personality and previous behaviors show up.
If you got her from her previous owner, what did they say?

Sorry I can't give you any advice but I am sure others with experience can.
 

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I usually recommend what has been talked about on here as a "shut down" period for a new dog in the house.

Part of this I stress is keeping dogs as separate as you can for at least 72 hours. Sniffing through baby gates and crates is ok, as are walks side by side, or resting in a living room while watching TV, while both are leashes at separate corners of the room. No rough housing, no off leash play, etc. This has helped tremendously in introducing fosters into my house with 2 other dogs. Many dogs don't show outright aggression. Rather, they find comfort in a new situation by being in charge, which is what it sounds like your rescue is doing with your resident boy.

I currently have a foster who came to me with resource guarding (his person being the resource) and jealousy to other dogs. My technique? Once the 72 hours passed, he could care less if he came into close contact with my female because he had basically be around her for 3 days, but wasn't forced to interact, just observe and get used to her.

I then kept my dog on a leash so she was by me at all times, thereby forcing the foster boy to come to US if he wanted attention. He followed US around the house and now this once "dog aggressive" boy is relaxed and doesn't feel he has to "guard" me from anyone or any dog.

I will stress that a decompression period can still happen, even though they've been left to their devices. If you allow her to continue guarding you, rooms, etc as resources from your boy, and he continues to feel cornered, he very may start to retaliate and it could go beyond growls and "snarfs" to actual altercations.

I wish you nothing but luck and THANK YOU for adopting!
 

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I have never brought an adult dog into my house with my dogs to stay. I have had one or two over for a day or two maybe. So not much experience but from all that I have learned and read. You should not let those to get so close so soon. If a fight were to break out have you put any thought into what actions you will be taking? Trying to pull them apart will be a major chore that I am not sure you could do alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Audrey1: She's from Doberman Rescue League, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They have a Facebook page, so I was able to find a little info on my own (trying to put the pieces together). Apparently she was adopted a year ago, then was returned to them, and then went through 2 foster homes. I met her last foster dad, he seemed nice, but didn't know much about her. I wrote to her first adoptive mom (via FB), but have not gotten a response yet.

Kynny18: Yes, my main concern is a fight, because of the potential physical and emotional consequences. I wish now that I had asked more questions and educated myself better before adopting.

Herb2relax: You're right. If they got into a fight it would be ugly! He's 85 lbs. while she's only 50 (and I'm 110). I'm going to keep them apart as of this moment until I figure out a better alternative.

Thank you all for your responses! Good night :)
 
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Audrey1: She's from Doberman Rescue League, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They have a Facebook page, so I was able to find a little info on my own (trying to put the pieces together). Apparently she was adopted a year ago, then was returned to them, and then went through 2 foster homes. I met her last foster dad, he seemed nice, but didn't know much about her. I wrote to her first adoptive mom (via FB), but have not gotten a response yet.

Kynny18: Yes, my main concern is a fight, because of the potential physical and emotional consequences. I wish now that I had asked more questions and educated myself better before adopting.

Herb2relax: You're right. If they got into a fight it would be ugly! He's 85 lbs. while she's only 50 (and I'm 110). I'm going to keep them apart as of this moment until I figure out a better alternative.

Thank you all for your responses! Good night :)
Not saying to give her up. Maybe just take a few steps backwards. MeadowCat has fostered many dobermans with hers, Shaona. Maybe PM her for some advise.

The good thing I thought about the rescues is that if something wasnt working out that they were there for the life of the dog. If it really wasnt working out couldnt you return her?
 

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I like Kynny18's suggestions. Try it....it will probably do wonders. I think ZeldaRules' link is more about bringing home an adult dog where there is a young child in the home...but if you scroll down to a long post by her, it gives excellent advice.

Try those measures now - before anything escalates and see if things calm down.
I hope it works out.
 

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I have a female who is all female so my words would be love and patience also walking together and building a relationship.Thank you for rescuing her.Read everything you can on this site and we are blessed with the best trainers,owners.............:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Herbs2relax: Yes, I could return her if it doesn't work out. But I want it to work out.

ZeldaRules: Thank you for the link, lots of info there!

Audrey1: Thanks for the good wishes!!!

Sherryh: We've been giving her lots of love, especially because of the rough life she's had before.
 
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It sounds to me like she is resource guarding you or areas where she does not want him. I'd go back a few steps if she's used to a crate. Do some crate and rotating and possibly work with a trainer on the issue. It's usually a workable situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Adara & Dobejazz, thank you for your suggestions. Unfortunately, Hexa was crated day and night at her first foster home, so that's something I couldn't have possibly tried with her. She has severe anxiety and needed to be on medications, which the second foster home had discontinued, because "that made no difference". This facts were not disclosed to us prior to her adoption, I just found out this morning.

Sadly, she attacked my dog out of the blue last night. I'm so glad that my husband was home and was able to separate them, before one of them (or both) got hurt; this time Hagan decided that he was not going to tolerate her anymore and fought back.

I just spoke with the Rescue coordinator and we've agreed to return her to them. She probably needs to be in a home with no other dogs, considering the fact that she has a history of this aggressive behavior with other pets.

It's really a shame, because she's a sweet girl otherwise. And we really wanted to provide her with a forever home, but not at the expense of someone getting mauled, or ending up with more behavioral problems on top of all this. My heart aches for her, but we need to do what's best for everybody involved.
 
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