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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When exactly, or as exact as possible does a male Dobie reach adolescence and maturity? When should I be looking for behavior changes? Temperment changes? He is getting neutered at the end of May, he has his consultation with the specialty veterinarian on May 9 and then if he is cleared he will be neutered two weeks after that.
 

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It really depends. In my rescue work, we see it most often around the age of 18 months. We often have males turned in that have just reached the age of 18 months and now the two males in the house are trying to kill each other. Literally. In the one case that immediately comes to mind, a little girl got between the two males and got hurt.

Some males are slower to mature though and may not develop these tendencies until 2 or 3.

And then there are situations where people owned 2 dogs peaceably for a number of years and suddenly there was a colossal fight that they never saw coming. Once that fight starts, it usually doesn't stop. It's *on*.
 

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We "legally stole" Mansen at around the age of 7-8 months in March of '96 and he was the most lovable, well behaved, laid back little guy until I got pregnant with my first daughter, in approximately the middle of '97. Even for going through puberty he was still a dream but for some reason he had a problem with my being pregnant, maybe sensing hormones. The only issue we had then was growing when I went by his food which was attributed at the time by the behaviorist as "puberty along with my changing hormones". The behavior abrubptly dissappeared after about a month though, either behavior modification or something else?

We've never had two males together though so as far as that goes I just don't know. We have had two females together though and though there were jealousy issues when our boy was alive they dissappeared immediately after his death and we lived with very occasional spats (of course one "spat" cost $400 in the way of a face infection in Cleo because of a tooth puncture in just the right spot on the snout). In the long run my girls loved each other immeasurably and were tied together at the hip for 4 years.
 

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I have three male dobermans in my house - a 10 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1.5 year old.

The 10 year old is a (likely permanent) foster. The three year old belongs to one of my tenants, and the 1.5 year old is my performance dog. My youngest was obtained first, the foster second, and the three year old last.

My house is a house full of no less than 4 dog crates (at least one on every level of the house), expends, baby gates, and leashes. It's a pain in the ass to live a segregated household, but it is what is required.

The three year old is not "my" dog. When he was adopted, it was with the understanding that he was going to come in second to my own dogs - I own this house, and my dogs take priority. If one dog is out while I am home, it is my own. Adding to this, the dog is heartworm positive so he is currently on strict crate rest anyway - but he will never be a "house dog" while I am at home (he is welcome to be out when I work, train, travel, etc). He is very submissive and fearful, and doesn't appreciate my insane male's advances, so they do not live "together". They can easily be in the same room, walk past each other, but they are not allowed to interact with each other without someone attached to them. They can travel, they can train, they can sit, stand and walk next to each other. But they WILL NOT ever truly live together. They will not be around each other off leash.

My older foster male is laid back and could care less. He is allowed to remain in the house uncrated when I am not home and is allowed to wander as he pleases. He gets along well with my young male and they are allowed to interact WITH MY SUPERVISION. They do not eat together. They do not ride in the car together unless one is always crated. They do not get left in rooms alone together. They are not given high value treats together. They do not sleep in the same places (my male sleeps in bed, the foster sleeps on the floor).

They do play together - in the yard or in my living room. My male is good with dogs (At this point - he is 1.5 years old) and he is responsive to their wishes and takes it easy on the old man, as Tyler is not 100% healthy. Could something escalate? Of course - every day that is my concern, which is why they are NEVER allowed to interact without me attending. I don't even go to the bathroom and leave them if no one else is around.

Above all, I know my own dogs. My youngest male is currently MARVELOUS around other dogs, but I know things can change. He does not interact without me observing. But me knowing them isn't going to stop a fight - it's seeing the warning signs if there are any, and MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE - not giving them the opportunity to engage.

The tenant's dog is fearful and submissive, and he responds aggressively when cornered. He will never meet my young male loose, and they are never going to be more than housemates. For these two, we crate and rotate. even though they "see" and "meet" each other 2-3 times a day and have no problem, I know that the albino will respond aggressively and while my male will not start the fight, he will not back down when challenged.

My older male foster and my young male coexist peacefully for the time being. The older male requires much less of my time and is happy to have a few jaunts around the yard, a short walk, and cuddles with me. His lower demands and his peaceful nature make coexistence possible for now.

It's a pain in the ass for newcomers to the house to have to remember to replace baby gates, it's a pain not to be able to just toss all the dogs in the house out in the yard. It's a pain that the dogs CANNOT be left loose with each other when we leave, that they all need to be separated when eating.

But that is my life. And when I add my bitch into the mix, I don't imagine things getting easy - but every dog has what they need, every dog is trained, cared for, and loved. It just means it doesn't all happen in the same room at the same time :)

(it also helps that my dogs come to work with me every day, so it gives the albino male 10-14 hours a day that he has free run of the house if his owner is home). As my male ages and the older male does as well, I am sure that they will spend less and less time together. Right now I will enjoy that my male is passed out on the couch and the old male is sleeping on the dog bed at his feet.

My advice to you? Don't trust that just because he is a puppy and has been fine so far, that nothing will ever happen.

My BIGGER concern for you is that you have two pit mixes, don't you? That is a whole separate issue in and of itself - how old are they? I am involved with pits as well, and have some very good friends heavily nvolved in rescue, training and showing pits - and they all have one phrase that is repeated all the time -

NEVER TRUST A PIT NOT TO FIGHT.
 

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Kim is the one with the advice to listen to in this case if you ask me...
I've seen her dogs, interacted with them and been to her house.
My dobe is a rescue too, we think he was around 2 when we got him, which makes him about 5 1/2 now.
He has shown himself to be very dog aggressive at home, for intact males.
He got along great with my OFBD *old fat black dog* that was euthed Aug 05.
Then again the OFBD was a 17yr old basic cripple who did nothing but sleep, eat and fart. Tuck figured out really quickly though that Bumper was very good at finding food (tipping trash cans, opening fridge doors...) and would let Bumper do the dirty work, then enjoy the spoils.

Tucker and Rah (Kim's 1.5 yr old) have met face to face on neutral territory. They seemed to do OK, Tuck was too busy smelling stuff to be interested in Rah. I would never ever ever trust the two of them alone though, EVER.
Along those same lines, while Tucker is still with us - and I hope it's for a very long time - there will never ever be another dog in this house.
We've had visitors, a few bitches he gets along with great, but they're very submissive dogs and let him do his big bad ass dobe thing. Again never left unsupervised.

I'd love to get another dog. I've been offered a toy pom (stop laughing! I want one!!) but won't take the chance. I can't do that to Tucker or anyone else that might come to live here. I've seen Tucker in aggressive mode and it's scary. I don't trust him not to react badly with another dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Kim,
Thank you for everything that you have said. I have read and re-read it to take it all in. In regards to my pit mixes, Bo is 13 years old and I believe he is a pit/labrador retriever maybe mixed in with some shephard or rhodesian ridgeback - really hard to say what he is exactly. I rescued him at 9 months and although his humane society papers say american stafforshire terrier, I highly doubt that is his predominant breed. I will post a pic for you guys to see of him. Not that Labrador Retrievers can't have aggressive tendencies, because I know that all dogs can. He is actually the protective one in the group. My girl is 4 1/2 - she is the pit/pointer, and she is definately predominantly pitbull. Although she has been taught to be a stable dog, I certainly do know that pits can fight and am very very aware of this. I am extremely careful with all of them because they each have unique personalities. My older one is laid back, although grumpy at the same time if that makes any sense. He could care less about other dogs, but at the same time does not want to be bothered with other dogs. My female picks and chooses, which is why there is no loose playing at any dog parks. If I do take them to dog park or to Runyon Canyon to hike, I am NEVER by myself. As you may have read on previous threads, Callie was in Cesar Millans care for a month at his compound, so although she has learned how to be a member of a pack, I still know that in the blink of an eye a fight could break out. I do know not to trust other peoples dogs regardless of how mine behave. I am much more familiar with pitbulls than I am with Dobermans. So in regards to that I am very very careful - always. When dogs approach us when on a walk I never let them interact, just not willing to take a chance. Although the one time the gardener left the gate open she went next door and had dug a hole with the neighbors dog and they were playing in it when I got there. Thank God.

Because I don't know much about the Doberman personality (other than what I have experienced with Bumpy and what I have learned from you guys) I am always full of questions. Had I known when I got my female what I know now about pitbulls, I certainly would have handled things differently and probably could have avoided the nightmare that I did have to go through with them.

I am very careful. They all eat separately, they are all in separate rooms when given a good, time consuming treat and I never allow their play to get too intense. Funny that after I wrote this thread yesterday I had a small incident with Bumpy and my female. Callie was just tired and wanted to relax and Bumpy went over to play with her and Cal got mad and growled and snapped - Bumpy immediately backed down and tried to do his down dog, want to play stance. Callie crouched down into her submissive position and I corrected Bumpy for not giving her the space she needed. First time that I have seen her get aggravated with him. Which of course concerns me.

I think that I am doing most of the things that you do Kim, just out of precaution - although - and I dread saying this, I do leave them all together when I am at work. They go on a hike with the dogwalker in the middle of the day then from what I am told, they all knock out from exhaustion and sleep.

Everyone, please tell me if I am being stupid leaving them in the house alone. It won't hurt my feelings, just tell me.
 

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I think leaving any pit mix and any doberman, especially when there are two males in the mix, alone together unattended, is an accident waiting to happen.
 

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I agree with Kim. I would not leave them all out together. I am not sure I would leave any pair out together. I think I would separate them all. Especially since the female is showing tendencies towards being snappy. And the two males, I would never leave together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, it is not worth taking the chance.

With that said - I guess that I just feel guilty leaving Bumpy in his room alone all day, that is all that it boils down to, especially when the other two have the backyard and the sun to lounge in. I just feel like a crappy dog owner I guess.
 

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It's hardly crappy to provide a safe place for your dog rather than taking a huge risk every day. Why couldn't you rotate the situation? The other 2 get the room one day, Bumpy gets the room the next and so on...
 

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I do understand how bad it can make you feel to leave him all alone. Reese spends his day in a crate when I'm at work. That's from 9 - 4, 3 days a week. He gets all my attention those evenings because I feel so guilty that he was cooped up, but if I left him out he'd eat couch cushions, table legs, socks, etc. I'd feel much guiltier if he was hurt because I didn't do everything I could to keep him safe. I've heard a lot of horror stories of males that got along fine and then one day out of the blue they were ready to fight to the end. Your love for your dogs shows and I don't want to see you come home one day to find that situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No it is not worth it, point taken. Bumpy is in his room today with a kong stuffed with peanut butter and three new toys (I am a sap). I got that fantastic toy that I think Da'Kari mentioned previously and he is very intrigued with it. Hopefully intrigued enough to not try to break through the doggy gate to go and play with the others - he broke the hinge yesterday when he saw the dogwalker and got really excited. Not out of aggression, but he gets very excited to go on his hike - he literally took the hinges off the door - he doesn't realize his own size....hence he climbs on me as if he were a chihuahua. Thanks for all the good advie.
 

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Even though I have kept multiple male Dobes for most of the time I've had Dobermans I NEVER recommend it to anyone. I think for most people it's a very bad idea.

I have a list of things I NEVER do with the household arrangements and the dogs. I never keep males of the same age. Generally there is at least a three year separation in ages. Occasionally I've had dogs that were only two years apart. Right now the oldest dog is nearly 9, the middle dog will be 4 in a few months and the young dog is 15 months.

I do not leave any of the dogs together when I am not there. Like Dr Kim I have multiple baby gates, ex pens and crates around. The oldest dog has the run of the kitchen--he's starting to be a little incontinent if left too long--so he no longer gets the run of the whole house (unfortunately carpeted) but for years he had the whole house. The youngest dog always goes to work with me. The middle dog who FINALLY is becoming reliable about not eating things he shouldn't has only this year been allowed to not be in a crate when I was gone.

I NEVER keep bitches--I very occasionally will dog sit a bitch (spayed only) three years ago I dog sat an intact bitch for the last time. Even if they are not in season, intact bitches so alter the mechanics of the pack order in the house that the males become increasingly antsie about the rest of the pack. It's not quite so bad with spayed bitches but even they alter the pack behavior and not at all for the better.

I would be very leery of trying to incorporate a dobe into a pack that had pits of any sort or pit mixes in it. I've had other breeds with the Dobes but generally they are dogs who are more pack types than Dobes--an Aussie that I had for nearly 13 years did fine and raised Dobe puppies for me and a couple of breeder friends when I was socializing pups for them. Years ago the afghan and a dobe (both intact males) did fine together. There are some breeds I don't think work well with Dobes--fortuneately most of them are breeds I wouldn't consider keeping anyway.

As far as how old males are when they go through puberty and start to mature? I've had a few over the years who were fully mature at under a year and a few that weren't until they were well over two. As far as sexual behaviors go--most male puppies learn to lift their legs (first sign of arriving puberty) at or around six months. Most males are sexually mature by 18 months. However like teen age boys that means nothing they are not what I'd call mature until they are two to three--mental maturity counts for something too.

Good luck--I'd be very careful about the interactions of the pit crosses with the Dobe as he matures.

One of the worst fights I ever had the joy of breaking up was between a little old pit bitch who must have been 12 or more--she got out of the kennel run (boarding kennel situation) and when one of the dog walkers came out with a big male golden she was exercising the pit jumped the golden and put 62 holes in a front leg and a big tear in his muzzle and a full set of teeth marks in his throat before we got her off him. She could hardly totter around but she was intent on killing that golden. It was about $900 in surgery to repair him. NEVER count on a pit to not fight.
 

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Wow....I am so glad to see this thread. Petey is only 17 weeks, and I want to get a second dog in the near future....I will take it from all of you that I should never consider a second male in the house....EVER. I had three male hunting dogs all together with very little fighting, having lost the two male Weims in the last 5 months....they hadn't had any problems for over 2 years. I will be looking for a female to rescue.

Thanks for this.

Carol
 
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