Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I’m seeking some advice (and a space to vent) I am starting to see a trend with my intact 10 month dobie getting attacked or aggressively stalked by neutered dogs at the dog park. Today at the park my puppy was circled and attacked by a group of at least 5 dogs. It happened extremely quickly so I couldn’t quite stop it before it started. Luckily he didn’t get bitten and he didn’t bite any other dogs but I did get bit while breaking it up. I couldn’t grab him by the legs because the circle was so tight around him and when I got over to him some man was already grabbing his collar. I could tell my puppy was obviously very scared and genuinely just trying to defend himself. No one said anything to me afterwards, but I get the general feeling that it was assumed to be my dog’s fault even though he was circled and being bullied by multiple dogs. (This could just be my emotions and I shouldn’t assume but we are talking about a Doberman and I understand the stigma still exists) Even as we were at the gate leaving other dogs still kept coming up to him and antagonizing him while the owners did nothing.

My dog is often one of the younger dogs at the park and runs around with A LOT of energy. I just want to know if there is anything I can do to protect him from neutered dog aggression like maybe a reaction training? That probably sounds silly because most living creatures instinctively protect themselves from attacks but I have seen dogs that are impressively “mature” and they don’t fight back instantly when dogs get aggressive with them but instead they kind of “intimidate” the other dog with their stance and a few barks (not growls). I don’t know if that can be trained or if it’s a dog individual nature. I don’t really know what to do, I just want to keep my puppy safe. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks and he’s with me 24/7. I’ve never seen him initiate aggression towards any other dog or human, he usually backs away from aggression but not if his space is violated like it was today. At this time I do not plan to neuter him, I am not for or against neutering, I just have not elected to do so at present moment. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
 

·
Super Moderator
Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
28,595 Posts
Dobermans don't really belong at dog parks. Dog parks are actually not that great for any dog but are especially problematic for dobermans.

Dobes play rough--many dogs can't handle their energy level. And it's too easy for bad things to happen when you throw together a lot of untrained dogs whose owners are naive about dog body language, and who are more concerned with chatting with others than watching their dog closely for developing problems with other dogs.

As you've found out, just one or two bad experiences with other dogs can really affect how he will react with other dogs--maybe even permanently. He may start acting fearful around other dogs, or he may get aggressive to protect himself--you don't want either of those reactions to become normal behavior for him.

Dobermans are also known for same sex aggression--many male dobes can become aggressive with other males as they start to mature. And the fights a same-sex aggressive dog gets into are not just little spats--they are full-fledged attempts to kill the other dog. They can happen suddenly, are frightening to see and dangerous to try to break up. Whether or not the doberman is neutered will make no difference to his aggressive attitude to other male dogs. And as you're noticed, neutered males can be aggressive to intact dogs too.

Aside from all of the behavior difficulties that can develop, you're up against the perception that people have of dobermans as you mentioned. If there is any kind of trouble between dogs, no matter who causes it, the doberman will get blamed. It's not fair, but is very, very common. That can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and might even put you at risk for dangerous dog reports being turned into law enforcement, or even for a lawsuit if another dog or person gets hurt. If your dog has a record as a "dangerous" dog, (even if it is undeserved) the next time there is a problem with his behavior, you could really run into trouble with some very unpleasant consequences.

It would be best if you see if you arrange play dates with another dog who has a similar playstyle (a female dog, in your pup's case) if you want your pup to have more dog interactions. There are also other things you can do with your dog to keep him physically and mentally healthy. You can work on training him--teach him some fun tricks, or take classes in obedience or rally--even try competitions if you'd like. Nosework is something that many dogs really enjoy too. Mental work can be just as exhausting as physical exercise. You do need to provide both for your dog--exercise his body on a long leash, go on walks or hikes (at his age, he's not ready for any repetitive exercise like jogging or biking) but throw in some mental exercise for him too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Maybe stop going to the dog park if you want to keep him safe?? Other people have poorly behaved dogs and your dog is either going to get hurt or hurt others defending himself, especially if/when he becomes same sex aggressive.

I went to a dog park once with my pup and will never go again. I did know the horror stories beforehand, but curiosity got the best of me. People at the park told me crap like "oh my dog's really sweet and only wants to play" when their dogs were growling and snapping at mine and trying to jump on him. The owners don't care or don't know agression when they see it and just let their dogs act like assholes. I kept having to pull this one rottie mix off my dog because the owner insisted he's just a rough player due to playing with huskies and wouldn't stop him herself. I seriously doubt my dog enjoyed the experience at all because he just wanted to stay by my side the whole time and didn't instigate any play, just got chased around, barked at, and seemed uncomfortable. And from your post it doesn't sound like your dog is enjoying the dog park either, so why do you still want to take him there??
I would suggest using an empty field/park to let your dog run instead. I don't think dogs need dog friends to be happy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,446 Posts
Yep.
Folks within this forum (and other sources) spend a lot of time study their dogs behavior,training, food, etc. etc.
But most dog owners do not do what we do…..they just get a dog.
Personally I wish I could attend dog parks.
Nothing like seeing a dober run run run fully stretched out having fun.Brings happy tears to my eyes when I see it.
Rule #1: be a good advocate for your dog by setting your dog up for success.
We tried dog parks with my first Dober.
Dog parks in my city are not clean and due to the size of our dogs it seems more is expected from our Dobers by our fellow humans.
Even when the smaller dog is being an azz…..humans expect our dogs to just accept because they are bigger.
I found there are regulars at dog parks. Humans that attend the parks at a set time On certain days.
So those humans that are on the same schedule they form “clicks”.
They spend time chatting with their friends while at the park, thus paying no attention to whats happening with the dogs until the fight starts.
Then they take the position “my dog never does that”……so in turn they blame the new comer.
I suppose in a dogs world….if you have a group of dogs that have sniffed and got to know each other “dog clicks” it would only make sense a new dog would get alot of attention.
‘We opted for play dates at our home with friends that have large breed dogs.
Those incidents you are describing with your pup can really set a young dog back in training.
Another thing worth mention is physical harm….you still have a lot of physical development happening with your dog. Those bones and ligaments etc etc need to last a long time and a dog fight can ruin the dog physically as well as mentally. My boy Hoss had an injury to his rear leg last year just from jumping off of some steps cost me almost $9000 to repair his leg. To grab the hind legs during a fight….I have heard of that technique…..but I cringe when I think of whats happening to the dogs joints during that sudden move……I have heard stories of some that are restraining their dog…while the other dogs continue to attack. In that situation we are setting up our dogs for harm.
So my advise is find another way……prevention is the key.
 

·
Registered
4yr old female
Joined
·
373 Posts
Dobermans don't really belong at dog parks. Dog parks are actually not that great for any dog but are especially problematic for dobermans.
Maybe stop going to the dog park if you want to keep him safe?? Other people have poorly behaved dogs
Folks within this forum (and other sources) spend a lot of time study their dogs behavior,training, food, etc. etc.
But most dog owners do not
This right here.

Dog parks are no place for Dobes, as stated above Dobes play ROUGH and most people do not know this and think the Dobe is being aggressive thus you and your dog get the blame and could possibly pay the ultimate price for it.

Find other Dobe owners near you to have play dates together

My Dobe girl plays with my best friend's two GSDs and she takes on both of them with no problem. But they were all 3 slowly introduced and have now been playing together for 3+ years.
 

·
Registered
2
Joined
·
136 Posts
Somewhere in my many travels through dog info, I've read that neutered dogs often act the way you describe toward intact dogs. It's given as a reason you should neuter your dog -- because then it can play at dog parks and doggy day care without a problem.

Like others here, I would never put one of my dogs in a dog park. That's been true of all the spayed bitches I've had over the years and is true of the intact male I have now.
 

·
Living la Vida Loca!
Joined
·
2,828 Posts
Sugar is intact and male dogs hate him. When he was a young pup I could take him to the dog park I used to go with Coco which was a 30 acre old conservation area. I always just walked the trails and neither one of them ever went to the play areas.

The last time we went years ago Sugar didn't back down from the bullying so he has never been back. We spend our time alone at the pond which we both like just fine.

Sugar has 1 friend. An 11 year old female pug who bosses him around and that he submits to. He doesn't need any other friends. He has me and pond adventures everyday.

Please stop taking your boy there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
I wish I knew the answer to the OP's question, but I have found this to be true many times over. My daughter, MB had Duggan, intact and would meet with friends on a walk or trail or they would come to her house. Every single time the neutered male would attack Duggan, who tended to just shake it off. The owners would say the same thing, 'My dog has never reacted that way'
I wish I knew what it was that caused it. And, I don't believe in Dog Parks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,777 Posts
I can only say ditto to the advice you've already gotten about dog parks and your puppy.

So I'll just add a note about his behavior--10 month old Doberman is still a baby--he's not going to do much standing up for himself--at his age most Dobes would, if given the chance--run away from the dogs. It's up to you to do the protecting at this point and the best protection is to not go to dog parks.

If you can, find a dog his age and size and preferably female and arrange for play dates and give up the idea of taking him to the dog park.

I don't use dog parks--and frankly unless the dog is a breed who was originally the kind that ran in packs a lot of dogs aren't very good in the company of large numbers of loose dogs whose owners are being social while their dogs misbehave.

I don't neuter my dogs unless there is a medical reason to do so. I show them in conformation and they must be intact for that. I train the dogs so that when they are on leash they are not expected to try to initiate a fight with another dog and other show dog have the same kind of training from their owners. And really--although sometimes I have more than one dog and sometimes they are all intact--they get along because I watch what's happening and I don't let any dog get pushy with any other dog.

If you have a reasonably active life with your dog (training, classes,) playing with another dog if you can find a suitable one--but this isn't necessary to the health and wellbeing of your boy.

Good luck with your puppy--he doesn't need to have doggy friend in order to be happy--so forget the dog park and taking for a walk where he can meet people if they want to meet him and avoid the heartbreak of trying to deal with badly behaved dog park dogs who are likely to simply tramatize your puppy and I assure you that if you and a Doberman are in a dog park and there is any kind of a fight between dogs your Doberman will be blamed even is he was nowhere near the fight.

dobebug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
I think you see the consensus here. my husband and I were just discussing this exact same thing. We live in an area that has a huge fields and a walking trail. I’ve not been back to this area even for a walk alone because no one has a decent recall for their animal and all seem to think it’s just fine to let their dogs: stalk, hunt, and run a muck, It’s not ok.

My bigger issue at the moment with this for you..what is this doing to your 10 month old boy?

Though a different breed ( French Bull dog) we have a girl who was attacked at 6 mo old by a Shepard. She was a show pup and like all our dogs consistently trained. When we were at show training and shows she behaved admirably. Walking her in an out door area on a lead is Not for the faint of heart, she wants to get them before they get her. She’s going on 11, we’ve never been able to train it out of her.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,777 Posts
Alida, That's just one more reason not to take dogs to dog parks.

If you scare the living daylights out of puppy (if you are another nastydog) most dogs react either by being eternally frightened at even the sight of another dog (a disaster if your puppy happened to be a show prospect) or they spend the rest of their lives being sure that the only way to not be mauled by another dog is to get them first.

Add that to all of the reasons I don't take my dogs to dog parks.

dobebug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Hi everyone, I’m seeking some advice (and a space to vent) I am starting to see a trend with my intact 10 month dobie getting attacked or aggressively stalked by neutered dogs at the dog park. Today at the park my puppy was circled and attacked by a group of at least 5 dogs. It happened extremely quickly so I couldn’t quite stop it before it started. Luckily he didn’t get bitten and he didn’t bite any other dogs but I did get bit while breaking it up. I couldn’t grab him by the legs because the circle was so tight around him and when I got over to him some man was already grabbing his collar. I could tell my puppy was obviously very scared and genuinely just trying to defend himself. No one said anything to me afterwards, but I get the general feeling that it was assumed to be my dog’s fault even though he was circled and being bullied by multiple dogs. (This could just be my emotions and I shouldn’t assume but we are talking about a Doberman and I understand the stigma still exists) Even as we were at the gate leaving other dogs still kept coming up to him and antagonizing him while the owners did nothing.

My dog is often one of the younger dogs at the park and runs around with A LOT of energy. I just want to know if there is anything I can do to protect him from neutered dog aggression like maybe a reaction training? That probably sounds silly because most living creatures instinctively protect themselves from attacks but I have seen dogs that are impressively “mature” and they don’t fight back instantly when dogs get aggressive with them but instead they kind of “intimidate” the other dog with their stance and a few barks (not growls). I don’t know if that can be trained or if it’s a dog individual nature. I don’t really know what to do, I just want to keep my puppy safe. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks and he’s with me 24/7. I’ve never seen him initiate aggression towards any other dog or human, he usually backs away from aggression but not if his space is violated like it was today. At this time I do not plan to neuter him, I am not for or against neutering, I just have not elected to do so at present moment. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
Draco: Why the neutered dogs turned into a pack to attack your pup can stem from multiple sources. What is to say that any one or more than one of them was/were vying for top dominant spot of the park pack and the testosterone of your intact male set off the melee. Don't 'beat yourself up' for what occurred in the environment you innocently and inadvertently exposed your pup to.

Look at the silver lining of the dismal cloud of bad experience you and your pup endured. Your pup never bit anyone or another dog. Your pup never received a bite albeit still a traumatic experience. A bystander intervened and prevented a greater escalation of chaos and most likely serious injury. Unfortunately you were on the receiving end of 4 sharp canines—from which source you don't specify. Regarding the bite I can empathize and hope it was only superficial. Breaking up a dog fight solo as you attempted in a 6 dog melee would have jeopardized your pup's safety and inadvertently exposed him vulnerable unless there were 5 pairs of willing hands to also intervene. The method you attempted works 'favourably' if two dogs are engaged in a fight and their handlers' are in position to simultaneously react.

There is no telling what 'ghosts' remain in your pup’s memory regarding today’s incident however the fact that bite injury to your pup was avoided and not experienced and the fact that he has never expressed overt aggression to person or dog should bode well as to expected future behavior. That is personal opinion based on witnessing/experiencing similar behavior on several occasions in a training club.

No need to further harp on the inherent dangers inside the fence of a public unregulated dog park. The two people never to be found in a dog park — a veterinarian and a K9 trainer. Use the exterior of the park boundary to proof behaviour unaffected by interior chaotic distraction. Find an isolated public area for you and your pup anywhere but the park. Use a 30 ft long length or two of 1 inch wide tracking line coupled if need be to retain control of your pup in an unfenced public area where available. Do some on leash environmental socialization — slow and safe introduction free of fear causing stimulus —in any safe area imaginable, sounds, sights, footing, surfaces , skateparks, open faced stairs etc. Expose your pup to any safe environment limited only by imagination. Introduce simple tracking exercises using preservative free sliced hot dog wieners squished into soles of shoes and tramped into a path leading to a jackpot reward of food perched on top of the pup’s favourite tug toy hidden at the end of the foot-track. Lead the pup towards the beginning of the track and sweep the left arm in the direction of the track and command “search”. Have the pup outfitted with a simple utility harness attached to 30 ft. tracking line prior to the command. If need be the first few tracking sessions allow the pup to accompany you alongside during the track laying to incite tracking through food drive. Say adios to the dog park for good as hopefully you and your pup will have discovered a new training haven.

If you ever inadvertently find yourself in an environment where you run into an unwelcome troublesome dog then keep your momentum moving forward and never allow frontal muzzle to muzzle confrontation. That is when conflict erupts. The 'meet and greet' backside sniffing behaviour common to the canine world is not an instigator or precursor to aggression.

<< I have seen dogs that are impressively “mature” and they don’t fight back instantly when dogs get aggressive with them but instead they kind of “intimidate” the other dog with their stance and a few barks (not growls). I don’t know if that can be trained or if it’s a dog individual nature>>
Please do not expect your 10 month old pup to 'exude' dominant pack behavior....maturity and genetics play a large part as well as the time he spent with littermates/dominant and dam/overly corrective in the weeks after being whelped.

Nurture through training in prey drive ( i.e. using chase, tug, retrieve, scent, tracking for reward and motivation) can play an influential part in developing confidence in a dog that shows a lack of confidence and unwillingness to engage in meaningful training objectives. Hopefully your pup has interest in chasing a ball, playing tug and scent work as those items become the stimulus to incite prey drive. The objective in using tennis balls, kongs, jute/linen bite wedges and bite rolls is for the pre- mentioned stimuli to become Inducers to lead the dog into a wanted training objective and ultimately to successfully through motivation to attain that objective.

A more understandable example is a simple sit — lure the dog into position through food —mark the compliance via a verbal cue such as “good” —immediately reward with food and praise —release via verbal “okay”— play some tug or a tossed Kong/ball — bring to view a secondary tug or ball to incite opposition reflex to have the pup return the first ball etc —time the command to coincide with a recall “here” — the moment the ball is spit out pair that action with “out”. On and on the exercise goes but ends before drive begins to subside.

If you choose the route involving training in prey drive that I partially outlined then please explore the world of “ Schutzhund Obedience Training in Drive” written by Shiela Booth with Gottfried Dildei. It is a timeless treatise/training manual on what I have but skimmed the surface.

Hopefully there is something of use in this post..... Best wishes for success .....BTW your dobe pup depicted in your ID avatar looks real good......keep'm safe.

In the common bond of Dobermans ....Mike
 

·
Super Moderator
Hairy Dog RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
Joined
·
28,595 Posts
.

If you ever inadvertently find yourself in an environment where you run into an unwelcome troublesome dog then keep your momentum moving forward and never allow frontal muzzle to muzzle confrontation. That is when conflict erupts. The 'meet and greet' backside sniffing behaviour common to the canine world is not an instigator or precursor to aggression.
I would add--don't allow one dog to "T-bone" the other, with its head over the back or shoulders of the other dog. And of course don't allow mounting behavior--which tends to be a dominance maneuver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Hello,

I have a 10-month-old girl Dobie who like yours is full of energy. It has been a real challenge to find the best situation to exercise my puppy. We don't have a big yard and so every day we go somewhere for some daily exercise. I have experienced the same aggression from other dogs towards my girl on multiple occasions and have never been able to understand why because most of the time my Hazel is just minding her own business not even near the other dog....A quick example: We were in a park the other day working on short leash obedience, Hazel was in a long stay when a couple with their 2 dogs past and the 1 dog went nuts, growling and barking and lunging in Hazel's direction. Like a good girl, Hazel just ignored them as the couple struggled past and as they were walking away the woman said: "he never does that, what is wrong with him". My point is that there is just something about some Dobermans that put some dogs on edge. I have seen it over and over with my Hazel and I have come to the conclusion that they sense her dominance and are threatened...it is just weird. I have never had a Doberman that caused such aggression from other dogs.

I can't really answer your question directly, however, I have found that a command that will keep the pup close so that you can protect him in an emergency is helpful, I taught Hazel a command called "stay with me" and she knows that means something is up and to stick to my side and move away from a situation quickly. She learned it quickly and just knows that it is an important command to follow. We had a neighbor that let their terrier off-leash all the time and it would go after Hazel during our walks. I would see it coming and get in between the dogs and protect Hazel and run it off aggressively. I finally had to threaten to report the dog to animal control to get the lady to stop letting her dog out off the leash, but, Hazel learned the command in this situation.

The best thing for us has been to find other Doberman owners to have playdates. I joined a local Doberman FaceBook page and found 5 other Dobermans Hazel's age close to my location. We meet often and they all play like litter mates together and the Owners "get it" so they all get to play as Dobermans do. It has been great too when several of the girls went into heat because they were all able to play together. We are also fortunate to have a very small off-leash dog park that no one goes to because there isn't much to it so they can really run. Once in awhile a non-dobie family shows up but they see our group playing and drive away. HaHa If you are having trouble finding a large area for your pup to run try looking for some local kids football and soccer fields, when they are not in use, they are a good place to go because they usually have fences around them and no one is there.

Good luck to you and your little guy,

Renée
 

·
sandy2233
Joined
·
2,504 Posts
Dog parks are no place for any dog. Take some group training classes and see how your dog interacts there. Most people taking dog classes are a little bit knowledgeable and might let dogs play together. I would be very cautious because you need to know your dog and whether or not other dogs are play friendly. It is solely your responsibility to make sure your dog does not get attacked. If it happens several times, your dog won't trust you to keep him/her safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Alida, That's just one more reason not to take dogs to dog parks.

If you scare the living daylights out of puppy (if you are another nastydog) most dogs react either by being eternally frightened at even the sight of another dog (a disaster if your puppy happened to be a show prospect) or they spend the rest of their lives being sure that the only way to not be mauled by another dog is to get them first.
I agree. I’ve never taken a dog I’ve ever owned to a dog park. This encounter happened at my SIL w/ her dog. I shared this in order to show what it can do long term to a puppy.

I was just happy, she managed her behavior while in show mode.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top