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Desperate for help with 2 male dobes

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by Savy751, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Savy751

    Savy751 Novitiate

    Hi there! I have two male dobermans who turned 3 in January. They are only 6 days apart in age but are not litter mates. I got Duke when he was 6 weeks old and is an absolute sweetheart. He is my shadow and sleeps with me every night. When Duke was 10 weeks old we adopted Max from an ad. So they both have been together since they were 10 weeks old. They both got neutered together around 6 months or so. Around 9-12 months of age Max all the sudden started showing dominance towards Duke. He has never ever been aggressive with any human or kid out there. It's only been Duke. And its certain things that trigger him. If Max is laying on the couch and Duke would go to jump up by him max would growl and snap and lounge at him. If they're outside and running around and were to collide it would start a fight. And their fights are intense. They got into a bad one a year and a half ago and Duke needed staples. Getting them apart is so hard bc they are so focused on one another and they hear and see nothing but each other. Also with Max if you go to grab his collar and restrain him when Duke is by him for some reason that sets him off too and he will go after Duke if hes by him. If Duke is no where around I can grab his collar and pull him wherever and he never ever growls or snaps at all. But for some reason when Duke is there he does that. This past summer I had decorations hanging up and it was giving of a shining reflect against the house and Duke was going crazy barking at it and clawing and I jumped up to get it bc I knew it was one of those things that will set Max off and he will go after Duke and sure enough before I could get over there Max lunged and attacked him and thank god I had friends there that were able to help get them apart.

    Well a few days ago their worst fight happened yet. It was total accidental too of my friend. The dogs were worked up bc I was outside and they weren't. Well my friends husband let them out and they came hauling but out to the barn by me and I was yelling their names bc I didnt want them to collide and a fight to happen and when I yelled Max's name my friend out of reaction grabbed Max's collar (which I have told her before not to bc of how he reacts) but it was her instinct and I was in the middle of yelling "dont grab his collar!" And it was too late...

    The fight began. I yelled for her to get her husband and it took us a solid 10 min to get them apart. It's such a scarier and chaotic thing to experience and go thru and the noises they make.

    I am trying to exhaust EVERY option available out there before I have to rehome. I do have a baskerville muzzle we will use when people come over or when they're excited to prevent a fight but max HATES the muzzle and will bang it on everyone and everything until someone takes it off. He will sometimes give up and go and lay in middle of the yard and pout. I want to exhaust everything I can and ANY possible advice will help. Theres times when they are completely fine and in the house will be fine but every once in awhile you'll hear the warning growl and I yell. I know their cues. Their looks. Body language and I watch them like hawks at all times. But it's so emotionally and physically exhausting to CONSTANTLY worry about them and what they're doing. I wish I could just sit outside and they run and play and just get along....any help and advice is appreciated!! Thank you so much! We are located in northern indiana so if there are any trainers I can talk with or anything please let me know!! Thank you in advance!
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 4
  2. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    It’s sucks to have two dogs that fight. Especially when it is one that is the instigator. I have felt with it for years. My 10 year old and my late Male Zeke were 3 weeks apart and would get along most the time but had some bad fights leading to staples and stitches most every fight. I worked with them but Redman was kind of a loose cannon and don’t think he even knows what he is doing when he red zones.
    Zeke passed away 2 1/2 years ago. We own 3 males and one female. None of our males can be out together so we crate and rotate them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    It sounds like even with you right there, things can get out of control between them. I totally agree with the above comment.... crate & rotate.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Same sex aggression really sucks! It can happen between males or females and you don't know till it happens. I don't know which is worse. I've heard it said that females fight till death and males fight for breeding rights. I have never dealt with it but I would definitely be researching it and learning all about it. I would also crate and rotate or consider re homing one of them. Also research how to safely break up a dog fight in case they get together accidentally. I have seen some nasty bites on humans, don't want anyone getting hurt.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Archer

    Archer Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is normal Doberman behavior and borderline same sex aggression. You may also be dealing with littermate syndrome. Even though they aren’t littermates, littermate syndrome can happen with two dogs close in age like this. This is why reputable breeders never sell two puppies at once regardless of sex and you should always wait at least a year before bringing in a second Doberman. since you are where you are, your best bet is to not allow either on furniture and to reduce the resource guarding by picking up all toys and not allowing access to high valued things. You need to reestablish leadership through training and train both separately. This kind of behavior will come on with maturity and can and will worsen with time and age. Best to nip in the butt now. Sometimes all you can do despite best efforts is crate and rotate. Research dog behavior and body language as well as NILIF method of training. Your dogs need to relearn that they have to earn everything they get. This may not fix your issue, but will surely help reestablish you as leader which needs to be done anyway in a situation like this. If you are looking for trainers, you are best to seek out an animal behaviorist as they are more equipped to deal with this. Purdue may be a good reference for you as they have a Veterinary behavior program....or they used to.

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