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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to the forums and need advice ASAP!! I was looking to get a new dog a while back and did some research on several different breeds. I was looking around and found a doberman puppy, 4 mo old male, at a rescue league. I took him in a few days ago and just love him. Now heres the problem - when I was doing my research on the different breeds I never came across the male on male aggression that is common in dobermans, I guess I wasnt looking at the right websites, and the people at the rescue league said nothing about it. I just happened to be surfing the web looking at different training options for the pup when I came across an article about it. I have a 10 year old lab/chow mix, male, already. I'm supposed to sign the adoption papers for the pup tomorrow. I want to keep him, but now I am worried. Is it truly a bad idea? Should I give him back to the league and find a different breed of dog? HELP!!! Thanks for any advice.
 

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newpup -
I am the one that responded to you on the other forum in regards to this -

Some people have multiple males - I personally do. I also have the constant real threat that my dogs COULD fight and they are separate - they all sleep apart, they eat apart, they are NEVER allowed to play together unsupervised. My youngest male just turned two and he is gradually becoming MUCH less tolerant of other males.

As for if there is anything you can do - socialize him, but that will not guarantee. I know people who have had males live together for years with no problem, and then fight one day and can never be around each other at all. I know someone with two littermates that got along great for 4 years, and then one day tried to kill each other and one had to be rehomed. I know myself and some other members here DO have multiple males, but again we are not new to the breed (I am much newer than most of them), and we all have significant training experience in running a multiple dog household.

Is the labradoodle in the house spayed? (the one that belonged to your friend?) that could also introduce a big issue, even if the other two are neutered.

Could things work out? Absolutely - especially since your other male is older. However, as your new pup matures it is a very real possibility that he may NOt tolerate the older male and challenge him. A lot will depend on the two dogs - how does your older male react to other pups? What training experience have you had, and what experience have you had with the doberman breed? If I recall, you hadn't done a ton of research on them prior to this, you were simply looking for a dog that could go on trail rides with you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've moved out of the place with my roommate, its now just me and my dog. I really dont know what to do. If I were to keep the pup, would that mean that I couldnt take both of them on a walk together? Or do things safely with the two of them? Obviously there are no definates, but getting a new puppy was supposed to in some way be a companion for my older dog so he would not have to be alone. I've grown so attached the new pup the idea of giving him up breaks my heart but if it would seriously be an unsafe, 'non-companion' environment for shadow I dont think I could do that to him. He's been a great dog and it wouldnt be fair to make his last years stressful or unsafe. Like I said I would take the puppy to training, take agility classes with him, whatever it would take.
 

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I wouldn't recommend never letting them interact, but I would not leave them alone. Walking together, playing together (if they want to), etc can be done - but it needs to be always supervised, and as the dobe grows you need to be prepared for, and watch closely for, any signs of trouble.

They will probably get along (if they like each other - have they even met yet? Even with rescues/shelters that do multiple males, or multiple dogs, they always recommend that the dogs interact with each other before bringing another one home!), but that can change VERY quickly - and it comes down to being prepared to accept the fact that there is a chance (Even if it is very small) that they may NOT get along at some point in the future. Even if you didn't have another male, this is always a concern with multiple dog households, PERIOD - having more than one dog means that disagreements MAY occur.

The difference is, for some male dobes (and this also happens with two dobe bitches, as well)- once there is an issue, it may NEVER go away. What starts as a squabble over a bone, a toy, getting pets from mom - may be the end of a relationship. Some dogs it happens early, some dogs it happens later in life, sometimes it never happens at all. We don't know how, where, when or why - which means that owning two males means you need to know to look out for that and be prepared. For me, having two males, oneof mine is also very old (hes 10.5 years old - he is the "newer" dog in the household, a dobe foster that is never leaving) - and not healthy. He has very limited exercise capabilities and requirements, and wants nothing more than to sleep on his bed in my room. Which means that I can easily separate them without having to sacrifice "time with mom" because sometimes my young male is sleeping or crated, and I can cuddle with the old man. My young dog, on the other hand, needs LOTS of "mom" time via training, exercise, etc (and your young dobe will need this too). That is why, for ME, having multiple males works - my older male is NOT an intensive dog like my young male, and I am fully prepared to separate them. They don't ride loose in a car together, they do not sleep in the same room alone together, they don't eat together, they don't go for walks together. They are allowed to play in the yard SUPERVISED together, they can both be in the living room relaxing with me together, so we are not totally separated. But they do spend at least 50% of their lives APART. I also do not trust ANYONE else to handle them together - if I am not around, they are separated 100%.

One point is, training may not make a difference. Some highly trained dogs simply do not want to be around other dogs, this doesn't make them bad dogs. Lanabana's bumpy is about 1.5 years old i believe and just starting to get picky with other dogs around him, my male is 2 now and starting to become particular. He still loves to play, but he is not as forgiving which means I need to be more careful and vigilant. For instance, a young male doberman is nothing if not annoying when they play (aren't all dobes?) - so if your old male gets tired of the annoying puppy behavior (and at 2 they are still puppies - just BIG ones!) and corrects your young dobe, will the dobe respond? Mine certainly will - he will not tolerate being corrected by another male dog, and THAT is where a dog fight can happen... (he will take corrections from bitches all day long, deservedly so!)
 

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Hi

As a doberman breeder, and as a general rule I would not sell or place a male doberman with anyone who had a male of any breed in the household. There are exceptions of course but male agression is not uncommon in the breed and I would not want ANYONE, especially one who is inexperienced with the breed to be put in that position.

Shame on the rescue group for not interviewing you more thoroghly and for not properly educating you! The situation is workable depending on the dogs involved but first and foremost get both dogs neutered of they are not already. I would also keep them separate anytime I was not home or right there to supervise.

Good luck!!

Elaine Hopper
Starlaine Dobermans

Good luck!
 

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I think the big questions you have to ask yourself are these:

1. Do you have a way to keep both dogs separated AT ALL TIMES for the rest of their lives?

2. Are you willing to live like that, and make them live like that, knowing that likely both dogs will inevitably suffer by not being full time members of the family?

Because once the fight starts (and it DOES, more often than not), Kim is right..it never ends. If/when the aggression starts, there's no working it out, their entire focus from that point on becomes getting to the other guy and trying to kill them. It's not a lot of fun living like that, doors accidentally get left open by accident, and the stakes are pretty high..not only for the dogs, but for anyone who might wind up in the middle of a bloody battle between them.

Realistically, I think you're better off returning the puppy and finding a female.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for all the advice. This is killing me, but I think I need to return the puppy. It's so hard to reconcile the fact that one day this adorable, loving, playful puppy might attack my other dog. I know it is only a 'might' but I don't think I would ever be able to forgive myself if something were to happen to Shadow just because I selfishly wanted to keep the cute puppy. Unfortunately, I've already bonded with him so I'll have myself a good cry tonight, but thanks to everyone for helping me work this out and make the most responsible decision I could.

P.S. I will definately let the rescue league know that they MUST tell perspective adoptees about same sex aggression.
 

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I think you are doing the right thing. as kim said there is always a chance it would work out, but there is always the chance that it won't. as a dobe owner who had to deal with bitch on bitch agression, even if you are there, they are big, strong, and when they decide they want to kill each other, it can be very difficult for one person to do it. (DH - 6'4" 200lbs had to bang their heads on the floo to get the one to release the others head from her jaws and then struggled to keep them apart - and yes there were serious injuries)

I know it hurts, but if its any consolation, puppies in rescue find homes much quicker than older dogs, so at 4 months, he ought find a home pretty quick.

cc
 

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as much as I know this hurts, I don't think this is a wrong decision. My biggest challenge when bringing new animals into the house (be they forever pets or just fosters), is how will the lives of my current animals be affected. I don't think it would be fair if Shadow had to share you 50/50 after having you for so long, even if it is just a risk. I bet he would love a cute little dobe girl to be his friend though :) Or heck, check the shelter -I bet there are some adorable little muttly girls there :) One of the sweetest, most gentle dogs I've owned - perfect in EVERY SINGLE WAY, wonderful off leash, perfect recall, great with everyone, loved to cuddle - was a mutt I pulled from a shelter as a "foster"...
 

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Rudi gets along with all dogs at the dog park...we have never run into any problems. Rudi is also a lover, not a fighter. He gets along well with my parents male/neutered same age schitzu-poo. But knowing what could happen....because a dog is a dog. I wouldn't be comfortable keeping same sexes together without supervision.

On the other hand, I took Rudi over to my sisters for July 3rd. Her mother in law just moved back to the states from Holland. She had her two mixes at my sisters house, a male and female -brother/sister both fixed (not sure what mix they are, short in stature, yellow/blonde with slightly curly hair...weigh about 40 pounds) Well, the girl was fine and came up to sniff Rudi......the boy on the other hand came up to Rudi and then went off! attacked Rudi and bit him on his butt a few times, Rudi thought he was coming up to play and then the dog just went off on Rudi. Thankfully Rudi was fine....a little scared and a few tufts of hair missing on his back. Needless to say, that was the first time I had ever had and encounter like this with another dog. Rudi never once barked (he did squeal!) bit back or growled.
Rudi with his buddy Quincy

Rudi and another male neutered Doberman at a Pet expo (they got along just fine and had only met eachother that day.)
 

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Something to keep in mind too (riagogogog i am not just directing this at you, but it illustrates a good point) - a male doberman may very well get along fine with a dog it only VISITS and sees out, but its very different when they have to inhabit the same house :)
 
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Yes.....a dog is a dog. I have been very fortunate to trust Rudi in the house while I'm away and with 4 cats roaming the house at the same time. He never needed to be crated and never has destroyed any furnishings. I know how he likes to play when he is with my parents dog. I think even if I was to add a female dobe to the household, things may need to be changed. So for now I'm happy with just one dog. I don't think I would have any two of the same sex as pets as I cannot be there to supervise at all times.....even if they are crated.....there is that "houdini" effect. LOL psst.....JORDAN!

Afterall, I know how cats of the same sex are. having 3 males and one female. The boys test eachother atleast one time a day........thankful they are only 10-12 pound cats and can easily escape eachother!
Whcih reminds me......I'll probably have to vacuum when I get home!
 

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Rudi is a gem. Copper (our lab) and Zeus, my daughters` doberman get along fine, but I do believe it is because they only visit--no need for them to prove who owns the house.
I have to agree with everyone else having a male dobie with another male in the same house is a big no no in my opinion. It can work, but for me it would be more trouble than it is worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I gave the pup back today, it was awful, I still get a little teary eyed when I think about him, but I am now definately sure it was the right decision. I went out and read several books about dobermans and did some more searching on the internet and I still feel that a doberman would be a good dog for me. I came home and called around and found a trainer that has extensive experience with dobermans. We talked about Shadow's personality and I realized that he is in fact somewhat aggressive. While he usually prefers to sleep, if another dog comes near his food or his 'area' he will growl and sometimes lunge. I went over with the trainer what I was looking for in a dog and what I would be willing to do as far as training and creating a home environment and we both agreed that a female doberman would be a good choice. So, once I find one to adopt (dont much like the idea of buying a dog from a breeder when there are so many that need a home) I have a training plan that will take place at my home and include Shadow so we can work on his behavior as well as start training the pup. I am definately going to take my time and find just the right little girl for our family.
What a hard lesson! Hopefully I can post here in the future with HAPPY updates on the progress of my pup (and Shadow too!) Thanks again everyone.
 

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I can tell you are a fabulous dog owner and will make a great home for a doberman. I know it was a hard decision, but there is a high chance that it will save you a lot of heartache in the future. Good luck in your search and keep us posted, we're nosey ya know ;)
 

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I can feel your sadness with having to make that decision. You may be doing that pup a great favor in the long run though. I'm so glad your opening your heart to adopting a female in need of a good home that you are wanting to provide.

Where abouts do you live? There may be some people on here that may be able to point you in the right direction as far as a rescue goes. Keep up with us on here. You'll learn so much about the breed just by reading.
 

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I gave the pup back today, it was awful, I still get a little teary eyed when I think about him, but I am now definately sure it was the right decision.

That took a lot of guts. You did the right thing! You will be a great dog owner...hang in there and the right one will come along.

Keep in mind that buying from a reputable breeder can help guarantee the type of dog you get....in terms of health, temperament and proper socialization. Don't discount going that direction....doing rescue is terrific but you can inherit unforseen problems. The other benefit from reputable breeders is that they are there to help you through any isues for the lifetime of the dog. That's a good thing especially if you (or anyone) are new to the breed.

Look into the local clubs in your area....whether you rescue or buy a puppy you will find folks to support you.

Good luck and take care

Elaine Hopper
Starlaine Dobermans
 

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That was a very un-selfish act. Not many people would have been able to do so due to their wants/desires (vs. their current dog and the adoptive dog's wants/needs.) Cheers...
 

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That was a very un-selfish act. Not many people would have been able to do so due to their wants/desires (vs. their current dog and the adoptive dog's wants/needs.) Cheers...
Yes I totallly agree. You will make a wonderful respondsible doberman owner someday!

dont much like the idea of buying a dog from a breeder when there are so many that need a home
Thats great that you want to adopt. We adopted both the dogs we've had(for the same reason as you) and we've been very pleased. I plan to do the same when I get my doberman.
 
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