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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help! I need some tips from fellow Doberman owners. My husband and I adopted an adult Doberman in 2008, and he was in pretty rough shape (he was abused, starved, etc, and eventually ended up at the pound with one day to euthenasia before the rescue center found him). We did two rounds of obedience classes with him, which helped, but he still exhibits a lot of behaviors that we're having difficulty dealing with. We have two other dogs (both American Bulldogs) one who is fixed, and the other who is not.

Our Doberman is fixed, but constantly pees in the house, and follows the other two around in the yard to mark his territory, but frequently doesn't wait until they're done, he'll just pee on them as they're peeing. He also paces and whines if he doesn't have a soft spot to lay down on, and has literally chewed holes in a majority of the walls in our house. We stopped crateing him a year or so after we got him, but have decided to start using the crate again, as his behavior is so bad. Does anybody have any suggestions on how to deal with this behavior, or ways to keep him entertained during the day while we're at work so he doesn't act like this?
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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How much do you exercise him regularly??? Dobermans need LOTS of daily exercise not just play time with his friends. He needs regular leash walks, and to be mentally exercised as well. Additional suggestions:
Day care, stimulating toys like Kong or brain teasers, daytime dog walker....


Edit: Dobermans are nothing like bulldogs, they NEED human attention and interaction, to be challenged and exercised a lot. They are extremely intelligent and so their minds need jobs and continued training/stimulation. You should walk him to potty and don't allow him to follow your other dog around marking if it is something you don't like. Stop letting then just go play in the back yard if its becoming a problem, leash walk and exercise him which will also give him 1 on 1 time with you which he needs
 

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I strongly recommend you seek the help of a certified veterinary behaviorist. These are not the kind of issues you can deal with on your own, especially with your dog's background. Training, and potentially medication, will be required, and a veterinary behaviorist is best equipped to help you with both.

Find one here: Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB
 

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Is there a reason why one of your other dogs is unfixed? Is it a male or female? If this behavior is new it would be a very good idea to have your vet check him over. Many things can cause changes in behavior, sometimes they are medical.
 

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Forgot to ask, are all of the dogs male? Same-sex aggression is common in Dobermans, whether they (or the other dogs) are neutered or not.
 

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Has he been acting this way for 4 years already? I would start with the marking by letting the dogs out individually or with him on leash so you can prevent him peeing on the other dogs. Rather than a crate maybe an ex pen would work to confine him when no one is home during the day?
 

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Sorry I firmly believe marking is a house breaking issue are all your dogs male do the others the American Bulldogs also mark in the house. Might get a black light and some enzyme cleaner for dog urine and make sure every trace of urine is cleaned up.A black light will show pee on the floor and furniture then keep the Dobe on a long line do not allow him to mark or pee on the other dogs. Good Luck
 

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I'm going to give the same advice as I did with another poster.

Lots of exercise. Specifically time to run (offleash). With summer here, there are lots of students looking for jobs. Find a responsible, great kid to take your new Dobe out for a couple hours a day. Start with walks but jogging is great. Maybe you even jog and could take the dog with you if the weather is not too hot.

As Dobiegal mentioned, Dobermans are extremly intelligent and require both mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.
Lots of exercise, playing games, doggie daycare, and one-on-one time with you will increase your dog's quality of life.

They bond so closely that the more time you spend, the more love you will receive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all, those are good suggestions and advice. We do have three male dogs, and I'll admit, sometimes it can be tricky, but 99% of the time they all get along very well. I will try daily walks, and a kong or other toys to keep him occupied to see if that helps. He's a million times better than when we first got him, but a lot of the behaviors he displays I don't think will ever go away. I forgot to mention in the first post that another family adopted him before we did, and gave him back after a few months because #1 they weren't used to a large dog, and #2 they had a small child in the house, so didn't have time or patience to properly introduce him into the home, or work with him on his behaviors. So of course they ended up just crateing him all the time because they got sick of him. So we had that to work with too. I love him to death, and he's a wonderful dog. Even during the intermediate obedience class we took him to, he would posture with other dogs in the class, and seemed to have an absolute hatred for one particular dog, a Bouvier I think, and would constantly go after that poor dog.
 

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Thanks all, those are good suggestions and advice. We do have three male dogs, and I'll admit, sometimes it can be tricky, but 99% of the time they all get along very well. I will try daily walks, and a kong or other toys to keep him occupied to see if that helps. He's a million times better than when we first got him, but a lot of the behaviors he displays I don't think will ever go away. I forgot to mention in the first post that another family adopted him before we did, and gave him back after a few months because #1 they weren't used to a large dog, and #2 they had a small child in the house, so didn't have time or patience to properly introduce him into the home, or work with him on his behaviors. So of course they ended up just crateing him all the time because they got sick of him. So we had that to work with too. I love him to death, and he's a wonderful dog. Even during the intermediate obedience class we took him to, he would posture with other dogs in the class, and seemed to have an absolute hatred for one particular dog, a Bouvier I think, and would constantly go after that poor dog.
I'm sorry, but this is a disaster waiting to happen. Same sex aggression is common in male Dobermans, and yours is posturing and showing aggression towards other dogs on a regular basis. You're setting him up for failure. He should not be in a home with other males.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I realize that we're all animal lovers here and want the best for any dog, but the bottom line, whether I made the right decision or not, is that I have a dog that needed a good home, which I provide for him, and I would like to continue to provide a good home for him, by realizing that his behaviors indicate a problem, and finding a solution to that problem, instead of kicking him to the curb like people have done to him in the past. When we had just the Doberman and one Bulldog, our trainer also warned us that multiple males in the same household can be a large problem-if you don't address it by immediately establishing your role as the Alpha of the pack. These behaviors are not constant, they seem to become more noticeable every few months, almost like the changing of the seasons. An indication to me that he's having territory issues, though, is the following of the other dogs around in the yard and marking his spot when they're not even done. That's been a fairly recent development, so I'm trying to figure out, besides the fact that he's fixed and one of the Bulldogs is not, whether it could be something else going on that's prompting this. Could it be as simple as the neighbor dogs getting into our yard when we're not home and peeing, or the stray cat in the garage that's pregnant? We got him when he was two, so he's just six now, but with his background, I don't know what's normal for him and what's not, because he didn't develop properly.
 

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Luv-The-Nub
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Seek a behaviorist, not a trainer. In the mean time, walk ALL dogs separately on leashes, do not just allow them to go play in the back yard. Its also a good idea to keep them separate completely. You will need to figure out a rotation system.....
 

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When we had just the Doberman and one Bulldog, our trainer also warned us that multiple males in the same household can be a large problem-if you don't address it by immediately establishing your role as the Alpha of the pack.
This has nothing to do with same-sex aggression (besides the fact that "alpha" theory is very outdated). Same-sex aggression is inherent and cannot be trained out of a dog.

I hope that you can find a way for your dogs to live together peacefully. I strongly recommend you enlist the services of a board certified veterinary behaviorist (Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB). I also strongly recommend you start a "crate and rotate" plan, never leaving the dogs unsupervised together. I would also put an end to playtime together, as play can quickly escalate to true aggression.
 

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What people here are saying is true and it's not meant to scare you, judge you or do anything other than to warn you that you have a time bomb ready to explode. The fact that you've gotten by " 99% of the time," leaves 1% open for tragedy.
I'm glad you've joined this Forum. It has saved a lot of sanity, not to mention a life or two.
Hope you follow the suggestions and heartfelt advise given here.
 

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I leash walk my dogs daily 30-60minutes a day. I do agility, jogging & biking with Kyrah. But around the house I get her to help by carrying clothes when I am getting dirty laundry she carries something to the laundry room or clean to the room. Puts her daddy's socks in the drawer for me. Opens/closes the fridge, throws things in the garbage & fetches the remote. I now get her to carry an empty plastic bottle for me when I take out the recycling. She carries that little sales paper up the dirveway that they throw every thurs. Hubby and I get something like an envelope or rag and have her take it back and forth to us from living room to kitchen...she loves it! These are things we just get her to do for busy work. Its not really something we need for her to do but it is something for her to do. It comes in handy like today when Dexter, my grandpup, drug his leash into the living room from the foyer where I was leashing everyone up. So I asked Kyrah to bring it to me...she is such a handy one to have around. :) I also taught her to "find it" meaning I taught her to find something I hid like a stuffie or her new favorite a leather glove. I sit her in one room and hide it in the other and she finds it...like nose work.
 
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