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Discussion Starter #1
We've had our one dobie Kane since he was a puppy (now he's 5) and in January we adopted a 2 year old male dobie from the humane society (Louis) who is very docile and a total sweetheart.

Our only issue is that Louis has really bad toy aggression, he will NOT share toys. Kane has never been like this (we fostered a rottie for 3 years and they got along perfectly!). How it starts: Louis plays with toy, Kane wants to play as well, Louis makes face at Kane and shows teeth, goes directly for Kane and Kane then reacts and goes for Louis as well, resulting in Louis being pinned down every time. (Kane is much bigger - 90lbs. Louis is 70lbs). Until we separate them... Kane can share toys with any other dog, we bring him to the park all the time and other dogs will take his toy, no issues. We've taken Louis to the park and a small pitbull once took his ball and he was making the face and thankfully I made it to him in time before anything happened.

We're not sure how to go about this, we do not leave them home alone, we've taken their favourite balls away from them and even tried a training collar for Louis to try and snap him out of it when he gets snarly. When we take them out, we go to a small park near our house and throw separate balls which seems to work, if someone else and their dog comes to the park we leave, just in case. It's even resulted in me sometimes taking Kane to the park without Louis and taking Louis for walks on leash only.
 

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Got mutt?
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Welcome to DT.

To be honest, your situation is akin to an open keg of gunpowder sitting next to an ashtray in a smoking lounge. Male Dobermans are known for having same sex aggression. Add a resource guarder who is just coming into maturity into the mix, and you are just asking for an explosion. You are already seeing signs of this, and one of these days, it's entirely possible that you WON'T be able to separate them.

Dobermans especially adult males, are not good "dog park dogs" at the best of times. A resource guarding adult male Doberman is most definitely not a dog park dog. If Louis gets into a fight over a toy at the park, YOU are the one at fault. Taking a known resource guarder to an area that you know will have other dogs and toys is extremely irresponsible.

Using an electronic collar on and aggressive dog can actually make their aggression worse.

As much as you love Louis, returning him to the Humane Society (and shame on them for adopting him out to you, knowing you had another male Doberman) or giving him to a rescue so that he can be rehomed as an only dog is probably your best option. Your other option of keeping them completely separated is annoying, time consuming, and only works if nobody slips up.
 

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Big Lil pup
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What Rosemary said ^^^^^^

It has been mentioned here many, many times. Yet as I have experienced it personally. I fee that it cannot be emphasized enough.

2 male Dobermans in the same household is a possible disaster waiting to happen. It can come out of the blue, especially when an issue such as resource guarding is at play.

I would like you to to picture an all out, no holds barred fight to the death between 2 powerful, deadly dogs. It is one of the scariest things that you can ever experience. I still carry terrible scars from stepping in between my 2 boys (in the early 80's to remind me.

In my opinion, these two dogs should never be left alone together and Louie should never be allowed off leash in a play environment with other dog. Especially males.

In fact, I am going to go one step further and suggest that you return Louie to the rescue.

This is a serious issue. Please read up on Same Sex Aggression in Dobermans. This forum (DT) is a good place to start. There are multiple threads here that you can reference.

John
Portland OR
 

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clear Louis needs to be in an only dog home

I don't know if he needs to be the only dog in the house -

He may work out well with a female Dob . We have a female - which will be 10 in Oct - the male is 2-1/2 - We were worried he would be - or try to be the Alpha - Let me tell you something - he REALLY respects Big girl - but only after she put him in his place : )) them pincher teeth hurt !
HE is still young and --- well push's the limits of her last nerve - you know what I mean ?

Great advise above - Gunpowder may be a light term of what could happen .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't know if it's a dobie thing or just a Louis thing. He gets toy aggressive with all dogs, not just Kane. Kane has put him in his place a couple times, but unfortunately it didn't change anything. Clearly his previous owner just gave up on him and wanted it to be someone else's problem.
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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You really cannot train same sex aggression out of a dog. Once it’s there, it’s there....

You’re likely seeing the beginnings of it as Louis reaches maturity....I wouldn’t toy around with the idea of trying to keep him and work with him, hoping you can control or extinguish his aggressive behavior.

Right now, you can return him to the shelter or a rescue with simply the statement that he needs to be paired only with a dog of the opposite sex or maybe even adopted out to a one dog household, and that he needs some work with resource guarding. If the situation suddenly gets worse at your home, and you have a dog fight break out which you cannot control with the risk of possibly being injured yourself as a result, he likely would not be considered to be a dog who can be adopted out. In all probability, the shelter would recommend euthanasia, because they would not be able to take a risk with a dog who has that kind of record.

I’d make arrangements to return him as soon as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"You really cannot train same sex aggression out of a dog."

It's not same sex aggression, it's toy aggression. When we brought him to the park and a female pitbull tried to take his toy, he almost lashed out like he does with Kane. Thankfully I was there to stop him and kept him on leash from that point on. We don't bring him to the park anymore for this reason. He ONLY acts like this when it comes to sharing (or not sharing) a toy. It doesn't happen with food or anything else for that matter. We've only seen this behavior with toys.
 

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Big Lil pup
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Hey storm. Thanks for getting back on!.

Just to clarify, those of us referring to Same Sex Aggression, were not implying that this is the cause of the discord. The actual info being passed to you was the real possibility of a full blown incident of SSA somewhere down the line. Once that "down the line " line is crossed, there is rarely a turning back. That's all people are saying.

I still have no explanation for my 2 boys ultimately ending in up a potential gladiator death battle. They were best of buddies for 5 years. they shared everything. Beds, toys, water bowls, etc.

My vet, at the time who was a well known Doberman judge and ear cropper, suggested it was something as simple as a bitch in heat somewhere nearby.

Just, please read up on it. SSA in a multiple male household can be a nightmare.

Good luck... Keep in touch.

John
Portland OR
 

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There are two issues here: one, you have a dog that has some (serious) resource guarding of toys. That is something you'd have to decide if you are able/willing to work on/manage. It's something you *can* work on with training, although I would say it's always something you have to manage in a multi-dog household, and you don't mention whether he only resource guards from other dogs or whether he guards from humans (and you may not know yet, as he hasn't settled in enough to really show you yet). I had a dog that was a pretty big resource guarder of high value objects, only with other dogs. We managed it pretty successfully - no toys were really left out (except toys that she wasn't interested in) and anything high value was only given when the dogs were separated in crates (bones, chews, etc.). She didn't guard her food or anything like that. She was not a dog that could have gone to dog parks anyway, but I never would have risked taking her to one, as you never know if people will have toys there...you sure don't want a resource guarding dog at a park if someone brings a ball and they get hold of it. It's definitely work to manage, although it can be done. You have to absolutely be aware that fights can happen, be on guard and know how to break up a fight.

HOWEVER, the other issue you have here is the issue of same-sex aggression, which certainly complicates matters, and that is that two male Dobermans very often cannot live together. It's just common in the breed, and the fights aren't because of toys or guarding resources or anything like that, although that could easily trigger a fight to start.

I personally wouldn't risk the situation because it's two males together, because I think that leaves you with much more of a powder keg. I *do* think the new rescue could potentially live with a very dog savvy owner in a multi dog home if the level of resource guarding is evaluated...but it depends on how serious it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice MeadowCat. We love our Dobermans and we're really going to try and work on Louis. We raised Kane and he is damn near perfect. We knew there would be risk adopting a dog (now 3 years old) from the humane society, not knowing what his past was like. We just don't want to give up on him and we're not willing to just give him back to the humane society either. If we do feel like we've exhausted all our efforts, we will rehome him ourselves. We're going to be working with a dog trainer who specializes in these types of behaviours, he rescues pitbulls and trains them before adopting them out. Saying we didn't have the time to train him would be a lie, we are both home at 4pm every day, no kids, just 2 beautiful doggies and nothing but time. And yes, we did take the toys away completely, it has helped heaps!
 
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