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u mad?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some back story, when I moved for school I moved into a house (we bought the house for Dreizehn so it’s basically one of the biggest dog houses ever). No apartment complex, town home, mobile home park, etc, will rent or whatever to somebody with an "aggressive" breed. Anyways, long story short, finding a roommate is HARD. In my 5 months here I've gotten maybe 100 emails of people who were "interested" but then MAYBE I would hear back from 20% of them when I responded. After that the number would slowly dwindle more and more. I had a roommate for a few months and when he left I had 2 almost roommates who dropped out at the last minute. It sucks! I FINALLY found a roommate (and a girl, yay!) who sounded great in email, better on the phone, and I loved her in person. he has a stable job, we share a lot of the same interests, we seem to be really similar in many ways which should make her easy to live with, and she needs a place to live.

The downside? She has a male Doberman.

She's currently living in an apartment because her vet entered Duke (her dog) in the system as a Great Dane mix but her lease is up and she really wants to find him a place with a yard. Duke is 6 years old, neutered, crate trained, and very well socialized. She says he’s never met an enemy be it dog or human. She works a busy schedule so the dog spends a lot of time crated during the day but she usually comes home from work for lunch and dinner for an hour and lets him out to potty and to play with him. She seems like a very competent dog owner. When I met her we let the dogs meet and they got along great and after much thought I told her that I’d love for her to move in.

I want to say that yes, Dreizehn is my first Doberman, but I've been working with dogs for years and I’m well aware of the issues with male-male aggression. Dreizehn has yet to exhibit any aggression himself but they won’t be out together often and when they are it will be completely, 100% supervised. I know how to break up a dog fight, as does my boyfriend, and I’m going to make sure that this girl does also. When they are out I plan to remove all the toys and possible food to lessen any chance of something going wrong. I just want to know from you guys, especially the ones that have (or have had) multiple males, is there anything else I should do? Are there specific things that I should look out for?
 

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oh Patch....

Knowing how to break up a fight is good and all BUT you don't want to put D in a situation that a fight would ever occur.

idk, I'm a little nervous for you and the rest of the gang.
THIS, all of this :)

I wouldn't let them interact myself. I am a stress nut but I've seen what a full grown Dobe can do to a human in a matter of seconds and I was thrown across a room with the shake of a neck. I'm NOT saying it would be that bad, but knowing that, I know how HARD it is to break a fight up, etc. too.

Have you ever broken up a true fight to the death? It took me by myself 15 minutes to pull an about 45 lb GSP off my 45 lab mix. I finally had to rip her while she had her teeth still on my lab in order to save my lab.
 

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Prime has lived with many male dogs(mainly shepherds and dobermans) and has done fine. I'm extremely observant and I know when to separate the dogs if I have a hitch that there could be a problem. Currently prime is living with a male border collie, they are out often together(never unsupervised) and there are no problems.

It all depends on the dogs and handler ability. Never let your guard down and just be smart. You have a background with animal care jobs as I do so I know you're a bit more savvy than the average owner. Do not try and force the dogs to be together if they are sending clear signals they are uncomfortable.
 

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u mad?
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks guys.

I definitely wouldn't be forcing them together (or simply just putting them together) if I felt that anything could be wrong. And I would always be there, too, if they were out at the same time. I already told the girl that I have no expectations for her to interact or care for Dreizehn when I'm not around and I wouldn't trust just Dustin (boyfriend) with them. He's done great at the dog parks when he's gone with me but the key factor is that I'm there to tell him what to do if anything needs to be done (I've pulled dogs away from each other, Dreizehn's never been involved). If it wasn't for all the time monitoring play groups at work and whatnot I probably wouldn't even consider it.
 

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Like a Ninja
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I know my boy... I've had male fosters (Dobermans) that do fine with Jones, and Jonesy goes to the Dog Park every Saturday... I've never had an issue arise from it...

But I also know that my boy would never start anything, he's never met a stranger or a dog he didn't like (even if they didn't like him)

You might start with a baby gate, and take it from there... That's just my opinion though
 

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u mad?
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You might start with a baby gate, and take it from there... That's just my opinion though
I do have a baby gate and the house is actually built in a way that makes separating off rooms and areas incredibly easy. Starting that way is a good idea.
 

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My boys get along as well - it is really a matter of knowing the dogs and being smart about it. Slow intros are great and never leave them together unsupervised.
 

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u mad?
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PR, make crystal clear sure that no one takes D out and puts him with the other male when you are not home. You'd be surprised how sometimes information like that goes in one ear and out the other.
Oh, I will. One of the first things we talked about was the male/male aggression issues in dobes because my "need a roommate" ad said specifically that I would only accept a roommate with a dog if the dog was a spayed female but she sent an email anyways. I wanted to make sure that she knew about it. As I said, I think she's a better dog owner than most people I know (outside of DT, duh) so she is more than willing to learn and do what's best for her dog. Still, I do plan to stress the point that I don't want them out together unless I'm around and I'd be more than happy if she felt the same way about herself.
 

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I will send my wishes that nothing will ever happen. But I can tell you if your alone it will be HELL to try and get them apart. Especially if they are both going for each other as did when Kyrah was young and her and Tippy had one of their first little squabbles I was having a hard time keeping them apart and thankfully my daughter heard all the rukus and came out to help.

The big fight with Tippy was not a good one and she was trying to shake her like a rag doll. Brought my queen of the world down to a pawn if that. Dexter the one time she got him flung him like a rag doll onto the tile. Even we were sitting right there it happened in .01 of a second. We thought she broke his hip. I will say that some of the training I did has helped. Because I said "BACK" and she somewhat regained some control. Atleast enough to stand still for a split second for me to say "SIT." We know how she is and can snap in a split second. I say that, but it is not a regular thing we just know it can happen anytime, anywhere and for any reason. She is always supervised with other dogs. I am always watchful of her body language but as with Dexter it happened so fast. They were right there playing, then stepped away from each other and then Dexter was trotting back over. What happened? We have no idea. :(

I will say any of the times it has happened she looks like a different dog that I dont even recognize. She has this look on her face and in her eyes. She isnt there just to fight or warn off....if given the chance she is there to kill. I say this b/c even if the other dog is backing off and not fighting back she is still full force. I cant release her either from the down stay I put her in for atleast 15mins or more. If I do it too soon she thinks its time to go back for whichever one she was after.

So be careful just b/c you havent seen it doesnt mean it isnt there. Most people think Kyrah is the most mellowest & well behaved dog they have ever met. (they arent dog people) They wonder why I keep such a watchful eye on her and know where she is all the time. Tho she does make my job easy b/c she is normally glued to my side.
 

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just throwing this out there, not sure if it's something you've already addressed :)

- is D co-owned? How would his breeder feel about this?

- dog forbide, what if something does happen? Will the new roomie be evicted? A contract with terms might be a good idea.

- I would probably be inclined to get vet references.


Why would her vet enter him as a great dane mix? Was it only so she could be an apartment with Duke?
 

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u mad?
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
But I can tell you if your alone it will be HELL to try and get them apart.
This I know, trust me. I had to pull dogs apart once at work (luckily the fight had just started and wasn't ridiculously intense) and it wasn't easy. Those dogs weighed maybe 30lb and it was hard then so I can't imagine the hell of being alone with two fighting big dogs. Them being together without me and another person watching will not be happening.

So be careful just b/c you havent seen it doesnt mean it isnt there.
I am VERY well aware of this and it's not something I'll let myself forget regardless of the gender of any dog that Dreizehn is around.
- is D co-owned? How would his breeder feel about this?
Dreizehn isn't co-owned. I didn't actually think about talking to his breeder about this until you mentioned it.

- dog forbide, what if something does happen? Will the new roomie be evicted? A contract with terms might be a good idea.
I plan to have this discussion with her and have something written and signed by the both of us. It's something I'd be doing for any roommate with a dog.

- I would probably be inclined to get vet references.
Vet references? As in to confirm that she has a vet in the area or to actually talk to the vet about the dog? I know she goes to one of the vets I was considering for Dreizehn but I didn't ask much more than that.

-Why would her vet enter him as a great dane mix? Was it only so she could be an apartment with Duke?
To my understanding this was simply so she could move into an apartment. She was in a house before then but the person she was renting from had to sell and she couldn't find another house/room in a house to rent.
 

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Since I am in a similar situation I thought I'd share my opinion. My roommates gf has a pit bull puppy who lives at the apartment half the time. They are never around each other without me present (even if they are present, the dogs are not together). They are not fed together or even in the same room. They do not sleep in the same room. They do not play without me present, and although nothing has ever escalated, I had never given it a chance to.

However, I just experienced some 'male to male aggression' with another dog. I am currently in house sitting a rescued GSD mix who is as sweet as can be. Zeus and him for the past 5 days have been practically inseparable, and Charlie has a whining fit whenever zeus leaves. Just a little while ago however, charlie was laying near me, Zeus walked up to me, Charlie felt threatened apparently being in the 'lower position' and attacked Zeus. He now has 5 lacerations on his nose/muzzle. I was RIGHT there, watching them, and called zeus the SECOND Charlie looked at him, however, I was one second too late and now the DOBERMAN is the victim. Despite the male to male aggression being prominent in the breed, it was the other dog who acted on it.

As a side note, Charlie is ALWAYS submissive to other dogs, a split second was all it took. They are now going to remain on separate floors the rest of the time. Zeus with me, Charlie locked up upstairs. If I had not had been actually watching them, this would have been much much worse.
 

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ok good. We're only nagging you because we care :) My mom used to tell me that LOL
I'm glad you said that :) I was thinking it; does that count?

It does sound like you thinking things through. I understand needing a roomate...goodness DH is a contractor and times are TOUGH. And then the whole OMG DOBES ARE SCARY ISSUE. That must make it even that much tougher.
 

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I know a couple of people who own two males. These are two different couples in different areas, just to be clear. Anyway they have never had problems. I know they keep them well exercised so that they have no pent up energy. I would suggest keep them tired. I'm by no means saying it will prevent fights but being preventative and pro active can't hurt. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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There are a lot wiser people on this board than I am but I will give you my experiences. If you search Wheeler you'll see photos to back up the relationship between Wheeler and Walker. They were absolutely the best buds ever. They would share their toys, went swimming together, slept in the same rocker, one on top of the other. They were always touching each other. I can send you tons of shots of them playing and racing and having the best of fun.

Walker was about 1 1/2 when I bought Wheeler. Wheeler was taller than Walker but Walker was the alpha dog. Wheeler was Mr. Happy Go Lucky. By age 3ish and 1 1/2ish I thought I could see a problem creeping in -- just once in a while. They still loved each other. I thought for sure I had control of them except twice. The first time it was maybe over a frog, who knows. I was not there but you know, it would not have made any difference. When they turn on each other it's immediate and horrific. Walker although the alpha took the brunt of the injuries. I remember he had something like 70 stitches up his leg and on his chest. Wheeler didn't have to have any stitches. Of course I separated them in crates and they wouldn't even look at each other for days. The second time was about 4 years later. Mr. Goof Ball Wheeler went flying off a retaining wall and accidentally brushed Walker. The fight was on. I was maybe 100' from them and it would not have made a difference had I been 10 feet away. They tore each other's throats open and the top of Walker's head was cut from ear to ear.

Watching that almost gave me a heart attack. I couldn't scream loud enough to stop them. Luckily a worker was here and he took Wheeler's hind legs and I took Walker's hind legs and pulled them apart. (I believe that is the safest way to separate them. I have heard fireworks work but I don't know.)

After that, for about 3 years, they never went out together unless my son and I were both with them. Wheeler also became alpha and Walker more or less bowed to Wheeler--first out the door, etc.

I know others on this site have successfully kept males together. Elly and her husband are successful at it. I wasn't. My boys never met a stranger and loved other dogs. But twice over something so very minor, the fight was on.

So not for the world would I put my own Doberman male with another Doberman male. I just won't run the risk again.

I don't like guilt feelings but my dogs look to me to feed them, give them shots, etc. I believe it's my responsibility to do my best to keep them out of harm's way as much as I can.

You have a tough decision. Good luck.



 
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