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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure this has been addressed, but after reading through several threads I still don't see an answer.

By what age does it usually become apparent if it is going to be an issue?
Quinn is 2 years old. So far I have not seen an inkling of aggression towards any dog. My neighbors on both sides have male dogs. He plays with one. The other has tried to pick fights with Quinn but he doesn't respond.

There is a 4 year old great pyrenees/st bernard mix at my local shelter. His time is almost up. He is very timid and not doing well in a shelter environment. He is tugging at my heart strings because both Quinn and Darla were extremely fearful when I first got them. I feel that this boy would be a good addition to the family, but I fear that two males may lead to problems down the road.
 

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I think it is up to the owners of the dogs to set the example and maintain the dominant roll. If you are a dominant male, with no fear, teach and guide the dogs how you want them to be.

Will this guarantee no problems, who knows. Parents that raise their children properly have good kids, well behaved. Parents who don't usually have little hellions and kids who end up on worlds strictest parents shows, to teach them lessons.
 

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I think it is up to the owners of the dogs to set the example and maintain the dominant roll. If you are a dominant male, with no fear, teach and guide the dogs how you want them to be.

Will this guarantee no problems, who knows. Parents that raise their children properly have good kids, well behaved. Parents who don't usually have little hellions and kids who end up on worlds strictest parents shows, to teach them lessons.
I hate to tell you this but in dogs some stuff is hard wired. In Dobes and some other breeds the hard wiring consists of a tendency for same sex aggression and separation not training, guidance or the dominance of the male owner is the answer.

Some dogs are simply more tolerant than others. Some dogs, once they hit physical maturity become very intolerant. A fair number of dogs will be tolerant of another male to the extent of playing with them for a limited period of time but this generally does not extend to living 24/7 with another dog of the same sex (and it's much more apparent in males than in bitches although it may occur there too).

To Quinn's owner: One of the things you should be aware of is that Great Pyrenees are another breed which is often same sex aggressive and while St Bernards have historically been used as often in pack situations for mountain rescue I've seen enough who did not get along with other dogs to be really reluctant to think that this particular addition might even be a good idea.

As far as when you might see evidence that you have a dog who will not be a good candidate for a situation where there is more than one male in a household goes--it varies. But you've kind of got a situation here where the breed combinations are iffy and the ages are iffy. Bringing an older male into a household with a younger just hitting maturity male isn't the best of all possible ideas.

Most successful combinations which involve multiple males would be a situation where a very tolerant adult male (2 to 3 years) is already present and a male puppy is added. It works best if you already know that the added puppy comes from lines that typically have very tolerant males. The other one that works is a very old male and a male puppy where the prospects are that the older male will not live long enough to have to deal with a 2-3 year old upstart trying to take over his position in the household.

My personal opinion is that this combination is not optimum. If you try it I think you will also have to be prepared to turn the Pyr cross back into to the facility if it becomes apparent that it's not working out.

If you are serious about it (and I see that you are) I'd want to make some arrangements to have them meet on neutral turf to see what their responses are to each other.
 

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I agree - why not see how a meeting goes "off-turf" and then decide? Even if it goes well, perhaps the shelter would allow you take the dog home for a few nights so can you can get a better idea of what you might have in store. Who, knows, it could be love at first sight!
 

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I agree that some things are hard wired, like the sex drive of a male when a female is in heat.

Aggression can even be a part of the genetic make up as well, but is much easier to control than that of a reaction to a female in heat.

If it was as simple as male dobes are same sex aggressive, people wouldn't be able to do the things they do today with once wild animals of a much more dangerous background, such as lions, bears, etc.

If the dominance of the household leader and all the training, teaching and prevention doesn't work, no other choice but to separate. I guess I am more willing to take the challenge due to my confidence in controlling them.

Anything can be taught, really, with enough persistence and patience.
 

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If the dominance of the household leader and all the training, teaching and prevention doesn't work, no other choice but to separate. I guess I am more willing to take the challenge due to my confidence in controlling them.

Anything can be taught, really, with enough persistence and patience.
I don't agree with this at all. I, personally, have confidence in being able to control my dog. Even with no doubts in my ability I"m not stupid enough to get two male dogs (since I already know about the issues). I'd say the same about many experienced members here. Not only that but I wouldn't want to risk the well being of my dog(s) by something that I can completely control. I love my dog so I see absolutely no reason in taking unnecessary risks.

werecatrising: Dobebug's post is a great one. Of course, not all male dobes show/have male-male agression but it's possible and when it happens it's bad. Just consider all risks and outcomes.
 

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You'll never really be able to know for sure - if you decide to go for it, you're just going to have to be prepared for any scenario, including rehoming the adopted dog or having to crate/rotate. However I will say that Ziggy is a very slow maturer on most fronts and even his male dog "selectivity" was evident by the time he was 11 months old or so. I saw shades of it back then. I wouldn't call him male-aggressive per se... he loves my male chihuahuas and he is over 2 now. He is iffy with strange large males but fine with small neutered ones.

We had the kind of scenario, though, that dobebug describes as more ideal.. we had two small, older, neutered male dogs when we brought in the dobe puppy. They were raised together and so far we have zero problems. But I will never have another large breed male dog in the house with Ziggy. It's something about the large males that sets him off. Depends on their demeanor, too - it's very confident dogs he seems to target, not submissive, older, or weak ones.
 

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I agree that some things are hard wired, like the sex drive of a male when a female is in heat.

Aggression can even be a part of the genetic make up as well, but is much easier to control than that of a reaction to a female in heat.

If it was as simple as male dobes are same sex aggressive, people wouldn't be able to do the things they do today with once wild animals of a much more dangerous background, such as lions, bears, etc.

If the dominance of the household leader and all the training, teaching and prevention doesn't work, no other choice but to separate. I guess I am more willing to take the challenge due to my confidence in controlling them.

Anything can be taught, really, with enough persistence and patience.
Am I mistaken in my belief that you are raising your first male Doberman and he is still a puppy at this point?

Dobebug has been in Dobermans for a long time. I would not presume to say how many but I have known her for years. I am not certain anyone who knows her would question her ability to be dominate or control her dogs (LMAO) And she is pretty open about living in a multiple male house herself and what that means.

I happen to know that at least one of her dogs is very good natured around other boys. (Because I was warming Havok up one time when Toady was also in the warm up area. Havok decided that it would be more fun to play with Toady then warm up. Toad did not respond at all)


OP - keep this in mind. On the one hand you have an experienced Doberman owner who has experience managing a multiple male household. An owner whose dogs are successful in multiple venues of competition (Conformation, Agility and Obedience off the top of my head) On the other hand you have a member who may be on their first young male Doberman.

Just something to keep in mind when reading opinions on the internet.
 

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Somthing else to consider is that while he is timid at the shelter, you really don't know what his temperament is even with a meet and greet on neutral ground. Once he is acclimated to your home previous behavior could appear and if that behavior is same sex aggression, then you will have a big problem.
 

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I think it is up to the owners of the dogs to set the example and maintain the dominant roll. If you are a dominant male, with no fear, teach and guide the dogs how you want them to be.

Will this guarantee no problems, who knows. Parents that raise their children properly have good kids, well behaved. Parents who don't usually have little hellions and kids who end up on worlds strictest parents shows, to teach them lessons.
I agree that some things are hard wired, like the sex drive of a male when a female is in heat.

Aggression can even be a part of the genetic make up as well, but is much easier to control than that of a reaction to a female in heat.

If it was as simple as male dobes are same sex aggressive, people wouldn't be able to do the things they do today with once wild animals of a much more dangerous background, such as lions, bears, etc.

If the dominance of the household leader and all the training, teaching and prevention doesn't work, no other choice but to separate. I guess I am more willing to take the challenge due to my confidence in controlling them.

Anything can be taught, really, with enough persistence and patience.
Not only is this wrong, it's also very dangerous to say these kinds of things...
 

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Somthing else to consider is that while he is timid at the shelter, you really don't know what his temperament is even with a meet and greet on neutral ground. Once he is acclimated to your home previous behavior could appear and if that behavior is same sex aggression, then you will have a big problem.
This. Rescue dogs typically don't show their true personalities for quite a while once they are settled in an adoptive home. You don't even necessarily see the "real" them in foster care.

I wouldn't risk it, myself.
 
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Dobebug has been in Dobermans since the 1950's - she knows what she is talking about unlike others on here that are still raising their first Doberman. I'd listen to her.

As far as knowing your dogs and being in control of them..... people can be as confident as they want to be, but until you have an issue, you have no idea what can happen. Once two dogs hate each other, you cannot have them together no matter what kind of pack leader you are.
 

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My male doberman will be 3 in December. I have a lot of dog experience, I titled in ScH with GSD's and had aussies for many years also. Eli is my first doberman and frankly it's a whole new world for me. i have worked very hard to understand and train him. I would say I am an in charge owner. When Eli was 1 1/2 years I wondered at some point if I could add another male dog when it was time to get another pup ( I like males). Heck, he was sweet and playful "then". I knew better though from all the reading I have done and the experienced doberman people I have met. At 3 with his large and in charge attitude now I know I could not add another male dog UNLESS it had a specific kind of temperament and frankly I would not want to be so on guard all the time. I have always lived with a pack but like the flow of dogs who get along. I prefer more laid back enviroment in my home. Eli lives w/three other dogs, 2 littles one is a neutered male doxie who is very, very submissive and is 7 yrs old. I still don't leave them out together. I really like what Dobebug had to say, wonderful post. With all my dog experience over the years I was still surprised by the doberman. In a good way now as I plan to get a FEMALE puppy next year. :)

I know you want to help this dog and I don't blame you, I wonder if there is some way you could briefly foster and then work to place the dog so it doesn't get put to sleep. That might be a better answer. I know two male champion dobermans who live together and hate each other. I can tell that managing the two of them is difficult for the owner and she has been in dobermans forever. I would never do it because the stress for me would be too high, I would place one. Can it be done, yes but once you have seen a real dog fight and dogs who then want to kill each other it is a whole different ball of wax. Being dominant and in charge means nothing when that happens. It then becomes a question of management and dividing the house. For me that would be a real drag.
 

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having lived with two male dobermanns that constantly ripped chunks out of each other until we had to rehome one, if we decide to get opie a playmate it will be female. he does get on really well with other male dogs, and we have two that come round for playdates but i wouldn't want to risk anything kicking off again by introducing another male permantly in the house. i don't know if it makes a difference that the two he plays with are both neutred like him.
 

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You can see changes in temperament through about 3.5 years of age.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for your input. I have to say, I don't agree same sex aggression is something you can "pack leader" away. I am confident in my ability to train and manage my dogs, but don't think for a second I can overcome a hard wired behavior.

The shelter this dog is at has some of the most miserable people working there. They don't give out much info and love to say no to everything. I was able to talk to a volunteer. They said the dog (they call Topeka) was adopted out for a few days. He lived with a male dog whom he did well with. The problem was that he hated being inside. The owner did not have a living arrangement where it was safe to leave him outdoors so they brought him back. They were also used to more people oriented dogs.They said Topeka would come around for attention now and then but only briefly. He preferred to be out doing his thing.

Now, a bit about my current dogs. Darla, a pyrenees mix, spends most of her time outside. She is a typical low key pyr. She likes to pal around with low key male dogs. She does have bouts of playfulness now and then. She'll wrestle around for short periods of time when Quinn is out, but they don't interact a whole lot since he is always with me and she is very independent and prefers to hang out on her own.

The vet hospital I work at has a contract with the shelter. We do weekly visits, handle injured strays, neuter the newly adopted animals,etc. I am hoping the doctors can talk the shelter into letting either a volunteer or a doctor bring Topeka down to the hospital. That way he and Quinn can meet and we can see how he does with the hospital cats. If all goes well maybe I will have another "ranch dog".

Thanks for listening. Typing all of this out helps me sort things out.
 
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