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PLEASE HELP- 2 Male Littermates

Discussion in 'Doberman Puppies' started by Madison Thomas, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    Hi all, This is my first post on the forum and I’ve recently been exposed to a wealth of information, so thank you all for that. My brother recently got 2 male Doberman littermates, and needless to say, we were unaware of the red flags there. The boys are now 13 weeks old and we haven’t had any problems with them thus far, though their playtime has gotten a bit more vocal. I’ve read countless articles and posts about the dangers of raising two males (especially littermates) together, but my whole family is quite attached to the two of them now and we would like to do anything possible to avoid a heartbreaking situation. We also have an older male yorki who I hope may improve the dynamic between the two and breakup some of that “littermate syndrome”. We try to socialize the dogs with other dogs/people as much as possible and we are planning on having them professionally trained. Any advice on how to move forward and raise 2 happy dobies would be so greatly appreciated, as I have spent my day worried sick about having to get rid of one of the babies Thank you!

  2. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Welcome from Minnesota! :welcome:

    You probably won't see any problems until they start maturing and the hormones start kicking in, but then it could get real serious. I wouldn't risk 2 males in the household, let alone 3 males with 2 of them being litter mates. Chances are you could wind up keeping them all separated (even the Yorkie) all the time or they could fight to the death. I'm not saying it always happens but the odds are high.
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  3. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    It will be even more heartbreaking down the line when your dogs are not living a full life. There is a decent probability that you will have to crate and rotate once they mature like JanS mentioned. They are going to mature around the same time, it could be bad. Or you could be one of the few who have no issues. No amount of training can control hormones that I am aware off.

    I feel like I am a little blunt in this post, but know its just me thinking of best interest of the dogs. Im not animal behaviorist, and don’t claim to be. I don’t doubt that you would love them.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    I agree, and I can easily see how this situation could turn heartbreaking. This is definitely a case of just being severely misinformed and evidently lead in a bad direction by the breeder (as I've read most breeders won't even sell two mates to the same household). I appreciate your honesty and bluntness, I will try to update this thread in the coming months with how things are playing out.
  5. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    Thank you for your input, and yes I've seen that the odds here are bleak. I just figured I'd post in case anyone was successful with littermates and had any tips, but I don't know how likely that is. This is definitely a case of just being severely misinformed and evidently lead in a bad direction by the breeder (as I've read most breeders won't even sell two mates to the same household), and we are trying our best to figure out the next steps.
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  6. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    I have littermate brothers (from a litter I produced, not from another breeder). From the time they were born to now, they sleep back to back or right close to each other. With THAT said, since they were 7 mo old, they have been crate & rotate and they are almost 3 yrs old. They are never in the same yard together. There is always a fence between them. THey do fence run, but they've never fence fight. Their wire crates are side by side, never had an ugly issue even with a bitch in heat in the house. Even though we've never had an issue, I would never take the chance of putting them in the same yard together. Not even with both of us in with them supervising.
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  7. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    Do you have any relatives that are close and you can rehome one of the dogs too? That way the dogs still in your life but the danger isn’t there.
  8. Dogs4Life

    Dogs4Life Notable member

    I too was led wrong by the "breeder" and we got a male & female from the same litter. While I didn't have to deal with SSA, I do still monitor their play and have to break them up once they get too rowdy. Strict rules and always under watch is going to be your best friend. Best of luck...you've come to the right site for help!!!!

    Welcome from Michigan!!
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  9. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply, it gives me hope that raising littermates is at least possible! If you have any tips for me, that would be greatly appreciated.
  10. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    So, just to clarify, you never let them interact with one another outside of crates?
  11. Panama

    Panama Hot Topics Subscriber

    They are allowed to interact outside, but only with a fence between them.
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  12. Dogs4Life

    Dogs4Life Notable member

    Again never had the SSA issue and I can not claim to have had them both since puppies. We originally got Zeus and Moxy but she became very aggressive towards him after about 3 months, past the point of playfulness. Thankfully (at the time) my good "friend" wanted a pup for his fiance and he had been a friend since childhood. Fast forward about 18 months and he split from his fiance and got back into drugs. Moxy was miscared for and malnourished very bad...and also had a 9 pup litter. When I picked her up (took her back!) she was about 30 lbs soaking wet.

    Since then she has regained her full coat and about 47 lbs...the only thing I can't restate enough is too NEVER leave them unsupervised together. Even while standing within 10 ft of them they still get to a point I have to almost intervene. Another thing I try to avoid is tug toys and things they could fight over, even if there's 72 balls..they only want the one the other has.

    Best of luck!!
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  13. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    It is possible to have two males that get along for most of there life. They need individual time with you training and going places. They also need time out separately when you are home. Time our together to play but must be supervised strictly, they need to know the rules. Here is an old picture of two males I had that were 3 weeks apart in age.
    They got along the majority of their lives. By the time they were a year or so old they would get into a fight 2-3 times a year. Many ended with stitches and staples an bruised legs and necks. But they loved each other most of the time, you just gave to stay on top of it. Here they are sharing an ice cream cone.
    Redman is still with us, he just turned 11 years old last Monday. We lost Zeke just before his 8th birthday a little over 3 years ago. We do still have a 6 year old Female, 3 1/2y old Male Doberman. Also a 2 1/2 year old male standard Poodle and occasionally watch our sons two Malinois one is 7 female and a 6y old male. None of my makes now can be out together ever for any reason. The female Doberman can be out with either of my male Doberman’s but not the poodle. The naked can be out together if strictly supervised and the female Mal can be out with Redman my 11 year old Doberman. Full time job rotate them, train them and have play and down time in the house. But they are all working dogs except the poodle which is a show dog. I am a trainer and I still think I am crazy sometimes :rofl:
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  14. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    @Doberman Gang

    You doing that and one of us “normal” folk doing it, is two different things......

    From what I have read, if you have two males and you do NOT crate and rotate, then you are asking for a lot of trouble/issues. Really need to have the experience and know their signs/mannerisms- best thing is to not get into that situation at all IMHO.
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  15. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    True, it will also depend on the dogs genetic make up, how they are raised ect... the thing about males fighting it is more about pecking order in there pack. Where as two females will try to kill each other. A buddy I work with was looking for a Female GSD a couple years ago. I knew he was looking for more of a farm type dog than a working line, unfortunately none of my breeder friends had any puppies or they had a waiting list. One of told me of a guy that had nice GSD pups available about 2 hours away. I actually knew of him and had met him a few times but knew nothing about his dogs. I gave my friend his info, next thing I hear is they had bought female litter mates from him. I told him that was a huge mistake and they would regret it. I told them about the dogs bonding to each other and possibly not getting along as adults. To make a long story short they ended up having to regime one of them. Heart breaking for his wife and younger kids having to pick one and say good bye to the other. This is the norm fir what usually happens.
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  16. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

  17. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    The challenge that can’t be overcome here is that they are the same age and sex. Some of the members with two of the same sex have added the second 2 years later where it’s clear to the new dog who the resident dog is. With your two, there is no way to determine a pack structure which is said to be critical to avoid dogs fighting. With that in mind, I researched pack structure and found a lot of good info from Dr Nicholas Dodman, a canine behaviourist. I often think about adding another male, my boy is almost 4 now, but I always end up deciding that I can’t risk it. One Doberman is hard enough for first timers, and I don’t want to end up with a crate and rotate situation.

    Try your hardest to avoid any incidents through their teens and into maturity, but also be aware that the family situation may change. If you or your brother move out and take a dog, or if your parents keep a dog, I’d have a plan B in mind so that you’re able to not worry so much.
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  18. Madison Thomas

    Madison Thomas New Member

    I really appreciate your insight here, and for the time being we are going to be as safe as possible, ensuring that each of the boys get one-on-one time and we are going to start crate training soon. My mom is actually getting a new place soon so we are prepared that if something goes haywire, our boys will still have loving forever homes.
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  19. MischasMomma

    MischasMomma Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I cant comment on behavior or hormones, as I've actually only ever had females (my next will be a male though!) and they're definitely different then males. The info I DO know though, you need to ensure you do EVERYTHING with them separately. Train them separate, feed them separate, crate them separate. Its a huge deal to ensure they know they rely on YOU and not each other for companionship and direction.

    Also, side note even though it wasn't mentioned yet, neutering will NOT change behavior. Males shouldn't be neutered prior to age 2 anyway for proper growth, which will be past/around the time hormones are at an all time high and fighting may start, but ive seen it reccomended (other places) for people to neuter their males to stop them from fighting. 9 times out of 10, it makes no difference!

    I have dealt with SSA, although with 2 females. We did crate and rotate for 6 years. Its hard, but its doable if it really comes down it- but glad to see you have an option with your mom!!
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  20. Archer

    Archer Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I had five Dobermans in my house at one point. Two males and three females. Now I have four Dobermans (2 males 2 females) and a male Miniature Bull Terrier. I kept male and female litter mates from my last litter, but will never do it again. I have zero issues between my litter mates. It was just all the work that went in to making sure they remained independent, confident individuals. I will never sell even opposite sexed littermates to the same house, even to an experienced home. You are dealing with the hand that you were given and I am sorry that you were mislead by a breeder. A reputable breeder will never sell two puppies to a home. You know that now. Your best bet is to move forward and raise them independent of each other. Train them separately. Kennel them in different areas of the house. Walk them separately. You will have to teach them through training to look to you as boss. This is especially true with Dobermans as they will take over as leader if not lead by a strong one. I would also not involve your Yorkie through the training as they can revert their separation issues on to other dogs which is contradictory of what you are trying to accomplish. This will be A LOT of work, but littermates in the same household does work for some people, just not without extreme effort.

    As far as same sex aggression I have never had an issue, although I never allow one to happen. I do not allow play to escalate ever as moods and energy can quickly turn into a fight. You should also familiarize yourself with dog body language. Learn to read them. This can stop a fight before it happens. With SSA you won’t know it’s an issue until 10-24 months as it usually peaks with maturity. Keep in mind that it’s same sex aggression regardless of breed of dog. You will have your hands full with three males. Feed them separately. Don’t allow high value itemS to be accessible. Take them to training classes separatelyl too. Doberman Puppies are very hard to raise. You have two of them.

    Best of luck. We are here if you have any questions.
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