adding a second doberman

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We currently have a 3 year old fixed Blue male (Jake), and are looking to add a new puppy, should we get another male or a female.   Jake was a rescue and was neutered very young (12 weeks) as part of the adoption agreement, he is very gentle and gets along great with our other animals. The agency we rescued him from thinks a female would be better, but we also have a female Cocker Spaniel.  Any suggestions would be appereciated. 

Get a female - male on male aggression is notorious with Dobermans and it is not worth taking the risk. 

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People can say what they want but between a friend and myself.. Both added females to our males and its been bad news ever since. Fights break out almost every day. My friend has 2 males that were introduced at different times and never had any problems... I have found my female doberman a new home (on a farm with a great known owner) and I am looking for a new male.

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Wow, not only is that a huge mistake, it's also very irresponsible...  The type of breeder that would give you a male is the kind of breeder you want to avoid, ps.  Call any GOOD breeder in the country, and I bet you don't get a male doberman...  Call a byb, they will either not mention, or say same sex aggression is a myth, or does not occur in their lines.  Classic byb type stuff.  Not all dogs get along, but discounting same sex aggression between male dobermans is dangerous.

To the op, with dobermans, and other dogs that are same sex aggressive, it's always best to get the opposite sex to help avoid any problems. 

 

ETA:  I don't know why I get involved anymore, what do I know...  Helipilot, do you what you want, and best of luck.  Hopefully your dogs don't end up dead, or put down when/if aggression issues rise, because at that point your dogs will be considered unadoptable.

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Wow kevin.. explain my Female on Male agression??? in two different house holds?  With different dogs.

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I have to shake my head and wonder why anyone would willingly risk male/male aggression is just asking for problems, and I personally feel sorry for the dogs that will be put into that situation.

I would listen to the people at the rescue, they obviously know what they are doing if they are suggesting that you bring a female into your home instead of another male. 

Great advice to avoid any "breeder" (I use that term loosely in this instance) that would allow a second male into a home.

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Yea me either... I post real world scenarios that happen to my friend and I and all I do is get bashed.. maybe this isnt the place for me. 

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Heli, it's called sometimes dogs don't get along...  To expect every dog to get along is not fair.  But to purposely put yourself in a potentially dangerous is not the same thing.  When you're talking about a genetic predisposition for 2 males to not get along, and going through anyways, it's ridiculous.  The fact that fights break out every day tells me one thing, you're not ready to have a second dog.  If they were fighting almost every day, why were they not separated?  Why did you continually put them in a position where they were able to fight?  What kind of training did you attempt to overcome their aggression issues, and what training methods did you use?  Do you really want to go through that again?  And do you think a responsible breeder is going to give you a male, when you already had 2 dogs that didn't get along and you rehomed one instead of returning to breeder or rescue/shelter?

As far as not the place for you, go on ANY of the bigger doberman or even working dog forums, and see what they say about this lol.  This is the nice group telling you here, go on some of the other forums and see what they tell you.  I guarantee you won't stay there either.  Maybe, if you go to enough of these places, and talk to enough people that are experienced in the breed, you will understand.  I really do hate to get harsh in these threads, but seeing the outcome time and time again gets old.

Fact is, if you find a breeder that will give you a male when you already have a male, and you also have a history of fighting dogs, and rehoming because of it, they suck.  End of story.  They are unethical, shady breeders who want nothing more than a dollar.  Take it or leave it, that's the truth.

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Helipilot, that's your choice as to whether this is the place for you or not, but it's not like it's just empty information that is being given.  The advice that is being given is being given by people that have extensive experience with the breed, whether as breeders or lifelong owners of the breed.  I haven't said anything in the past, but it just doesn't seem like you're open to anything that anyone has to say if it doesn't agree with what you want to hear.

To the OP, I only hope that you take the advice that is being given by everyone, including the agency you have been dealing with and go with an opposite sex pup.

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please..funny how not only mysel but someone else has experienced great relationships between two males and add a female and all goes wrong. have fun i learned more about the breed from the back of a cracker jack box than this website.

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Also, to the op, female same sex aggression also happens, but it's more rare than males, and even more rare with different breeds.  It's something that you will want to be very careful about as well, and at the first sign of something happeneing, you need to take immediate action.  Your best scenario would be a female, and depending on the temperement of both, you may be fine.  But again, it will be something you definitely need to keep a very good eye on just in case.

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Heli, can you answer some of my questions from the above post??  I doubt it, but I'd love to hear the responses...

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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond, I guess my next question is should I be concerned about adding a second female or do they typically get along better. The existing female is 5 yrs old and we are looking at getting young puppy. 

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Hey, jstefen just keep in mind that this is a very hot topic lol.  Things are usually much more calm and laid back than this, and I apoligize for taking your topic off track.  Probably not what you expected lol.

  I responded to your question a few posts up about the other dog.

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Breeders and experienced owners tend to avoid adding another male dog into the "pack." I haven't seen the supporting research on it. Interesting book to read about dogs and science is "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz. She states that there are more behavioral research about baboons than dogs. Dogs also don't form a pack as we humans assumed (wolves to domesticated dogs theory). But I digress. I wouldn't discount some of the caring dog owners have suggested here because nobody wants to see a dog get hurt. As I gain more experience with dogs, I feel like I know less because much of what we know about dogs is just simply trial and error. 

Try simulating scenarios for Jake. Take him to breeders on a leash and if the breeders are willing, observe his actions around puppies, especially the males. You could also have a friend bring over a mature male and see if Jake becomes protective of your female cocker spaniel. If Jake passes these tests, it's still no guarantee because of unknown factors that could alter his behavior for the worse. Good luck. I wish I could have been more helpful, but I'm limited by what we truly know about dogs.

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Wow...this has been an interesting read. 

To the OP, jstefan1:  No matter what heilpilot says about his personal experience, I would definitely avoid adding another male if you already have a male doberman.  Sure, there is a very small percentage of people that have two males that haven't attacked each other-----yet-----but it is such a REAL issue, it's a ticking time bomb.  Why take a chance on it happening?  I have personally witnessed two male dobermans, littermates at that, attack each other for no reason at all, and the owners (my sister in law and her husband) were both bitten badly in the process of trying to separate them.  These dogs are 8 yrs old now, and have been kept separated from each other for SIX YEARS now because they will jump each other in the blink of an eye. One stays locked in a bedroom while the other is in the living room, and they have to constantly switch off on which dog is locked away and which one is allowed to be out with the family.  They cant even go outside to pee at the same time. Nothing.  They are very sweet dogs individually, and they both get along with females with no problem, but the male-on-male aggression is definitely there. Not all the time, mind you, and not immediately, but it does happen, and when you least expect it.  It's horrible.  Please, dont put yourself or your dogs in a position like that. 

You say your female is a 5 yr old cocker spaniel?  I had a male and a female rat terrier, a female mix-breed terrier, plus a female pom when I added Ziva to the mix. Ziva got along great with all the older dogs, both sexes.  The only problem was she grew SO fast and was soon so much bigger and stronger than the little dogs, but she still was a puppy and wanted to 'play rough' like puppies do, I had to be very watchful of her around the smaller dogs.  One of my terriers is an instigator, also, and there were a couple of minor scuffles between them as Ziva was growing up, but now that Z is past her 2-yr mark, things have settled down nicely and everyone gets along to the point that I totally trust them all together even while we are not home and the dogs are all in the house together.  Currently, I have 2 male ratties (one is very old and blind, the other is 6 yrs old), and 3 female terriers plus Ziva, who turned 2 this past September.  It's almost a perfect harmony between the dogs, but let me assure you, I have put many MANY hours of training, corrections, and watching them like hawks to get to this point.  Nothing is easy about raising dogs.  LOL

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When adding a small puppy to the mix, the easiest combination I have had experience to is adding a male Dobe puppy to a home with an adult female Dobe. The puppy seems to trigger the maternal instincts. I have done that three times over the last 29 years and seen a quick bonding between the two. The latest is Jake (almost 4 months old) and Princess (3 years old). While there are times they play rough, they don't hurt each other as a rule (not countings accidental scratches and scrapes).

The only outside female I have added with an adult male was Princess whom I got when Red was 5 1/2 years old. At first he tried to ignore her, but within a reasonable time, they were best buddies, again playing very rough as Dobe will do.

I have experienced male on male aggression first hand between father and son. (Hans and Willy) When Willy was almost a year old, Hans went for him in a very serious way. There was no doubt in my mind that Hans' intent was to either drive Willy off (difficult with a fenced yard) or kill him. I kept them separated until I lost Hans over six months later. I cannot imaging having to separate dogs in separate rooms (I did at night, but during the day one or the other was in my pen behind my fenced back yard.

I have also experienced first hand female on female aggression, the first time when Windy (my first Dobe) was over three and she and a strange female Doberman had decided that the vet's waiting room was too small for the two to co-exist. The other owner, took her girl outside until Windy was called back to an exam room. My current vet has separate dog and cat waiting rooms and a separate exit door for just this situation.

What we are talking about is the general situation. You can then have exceptions, while it is very unusual for a male and female dog to fight constantly, you will see dogs listed on rescue sites that "are best in a single dog household". This means simply that they will fight with another dog of either sex.

Then you have the other examples of Glengate who at one time had eight Dobermans in her home co-existing. That people, takes training and those Dobes all know who Alpha is, and it isn't one of them.

As one rescue site put it, a Doberman is a large, powerful, prey driven and fast animal, able to travel great distances very quickly. This was in their statement as to the reason they do not place any animal in a home without a physically fenced yard. (Wireless fences do not count).

While you may be able to get two male Dobermans to coexist peacfully in a home, the odds are against it. You would probably have better luck playing the roulette table in Las Vegas. Everyone remembers the stunning Apollo and Zeus from Magnum. However, these were professionally trained and coached movie dogs. Who knows how many males the trainer had to go through before he found two that would sit side by side like that.

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I think everything I could add as already been said.  However I will add my personal expirience with my dog Rocky.  He is a neutered male I have had since 12 weeks old.   He is very well socialized and goes everywhere with us.  He meets countless other dogs every weekned at the MX tracks. 

 

Females are never an issue and most males aren't BUT...he does not get along with dominate or agressive males AT ALL!.  The moment they do anything like put their head over his or a paw over his back - it's all over.  Males that are young or very passive he is perfectly fine with and you can tell almost instantly with him.  Knowing this about him he does not and will not ever go to places like dog parks, etc. 

 

There are always exceptions and I'm sure you will find people that do have males that get along fine.  however,  to be safe I would not advise it.  Remember also that most Dobermans don't show this agressive trait until around 2 years of age. 

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Helipilot if you think you have learned more from a "cracker Jax box" than this forum why don't you stop coming here to argue your ridiulous points.  It's counter productive.  Share your opinion - that's all you can - and when people share theirs let them without dragging the post to bickering.

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I don't have experience with male on male aggression with Dobes and so won't attempt to give advice/opinion, but when I picked Jasmine out of the litter I found it very interesting when the breeder told me her male already did not like/tolerate his own son. He would play with the females, however. The litter consisted of two females and a large male pup (already 20 # at 8 weeks!) The stud dog was really sweet. We were complete strangers and interacted with him right away--very friendly, respectful dog. It seemed odd to me he didn't like his own son until reading some about this male/male aggression thing.

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Hello Kevin, had some conversation with you about seven months ago in this forum. as much as the audience and yourself though i was do the wrong thing, taking home five doberman puppies (2 males 3 females) the whole liter, this already was a done deal. At that time, I was more concerned about male/female mix. You did ask me to get back to you just as a point of information, interest and concern. At this time the puppies are 7 months old at 60 to 65 lbs each, with absolutely no fighting out breaks. I walk two or three at a time twice a day for over one hour, they have play time twice a day together and I standing my ground (on my two feet)trying to be the focus of attention.

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They wouldn't be expected to fight at this age bob, it's when they  start to mature it typically becomes a problem.  For your females, about 1.5 to 2 years, and males, about 2 - 2.5 depends how quickly they mature.  I would love to hear the long term updates, but I doubt we'll all be around in a few years to see it lol.  Sounds like you're doing a good job though so far.

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While I wouldn't get two males at one time, it's not JUST male/male aggression kidlets. My male was aggressive to both male and female dogs of any kind, intact and fixed. It didn't matter. Just because it's more COMMON for males to fight with males, doesn't mean that females won't fight with females, males won't fight with females, and females won't fight with males.

 

If you're going for a puppy from the shelter, then the same neutering policy should be there, so you shouldn't have any aggression problems, as male/male aggression comes from testosterone, which your puppy won't have due to the neuter.

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My boyfriends male dog is 6 years Kaiser is 8 months. Kaiser is definitely trying to assert himself with Dallas.  We do not live together.  They did play great up until this past month, now Kaiser is definitely being pushy with him.  We don't leave them unsupervised.  What I am seeing with Kaiser as he get older, he seems to want dominate Dallas.  For the bed or toys, not very nasty about it but I can definitely see it.    Kaiser is fine in obedience class when there are boundaries and control.  I think it is good to keep an open mind..  Also, when I was going to adopt they suggested a female because Dallas was male.  

If you're going for a puppy from the shelter, then the same neutering policy should be there, so you shouldn't have any aggression problems, as male/male aggression comes from testosterone, which your puppy won't have due to the neuter."

 

The above statement is NOT true.  While neutering can sometimes help male on male aggression, neutered males can and are still male on male aggressive in Dobermans the majority of the time.  

Dog aggression in Dobermans is well known, and same sex aggression is an issue - more often in males than bitches.  Statistically the best combination for two dogs is a male/female combo of spayed/neutered dogs.  However, nothing is 100%, and whenever you have more than one dog you have to often work at making sure they get along. Occasionally, no matter what you do, they won't get along.  Many dogs will not share toys and treats - mine don't and only get bones and such high value items in their crate to keep the peace.

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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions, we have decided to get a female. we should be getting her just after Christmas. We are getting her from the same rescue agency that we got Jake from. I'll try to update with some photo's as soon as possible.

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Thinking I should get a new vet.

 

If that was true, then why are so many people insisting that neutering helps with aggression *especially* in males? Not just Dobermans, but any breed. If someone complains they have an aggressive dog, I can guarantee 5  out of 6 posts will include the words "Have him neutered". The reducing testosterone "stops" aggression from worsening. So if you neuter a dog when he only has a little testosterone...That little will be taken away, and therefore the dog shouldn't have male on male aggression.

 

What is the cause of male/male aggression? I thought it was a dominance thing. Only the "alpha" male of the pack gets to mate. If that's not the reason, then what is? And, if it doesn't, then why do so many people claim neutering stops aggression from worsening?

 

I'm genuinely asking. I don't spay/neuter unless necessary, but my vet told me the testosterone is what causes male/male aggression. Other psots from users elsewhere claim similarly. I'd be interested to know the reasons of male/male aggression, and (although you can't answer-)why people suggest neutering for an aggressive dog. 

 

Congratulations on your decision, OP. :-)

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Thank you for making such a smart decision, can't wait to see photos!

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Actually, it's a pretty big myth that neuter/spay will change a dog's behavior like that...  In general, a dogs behavior will stay the same, and the only behaviors which will typically not show up are behaviors associated with mating, provided those behaviors have not already surfaced.  I think most people that feel like they are seeing changes afterwards are likely changes that are more due to age, and that would have happened regardless..  IE...  dog gets neutered, calms down...  But, the dog would have likely calmed down, because he's leaving that crazy hyper puppy stage, again, more due to age than whether or not he/she is intact.

I think the less knowledgeable people would recommend a spay/neuter as a way to change behavior, the more knowledgeable would recommend some type of training technique, if applicable, and if not, they would recommend a way to keep your dog safe.

Neutering is definitely not a solution to an aggressive dog... It may or may not help.  But, chances are very high that if you have an aggressive dog, and you neuter/spay, you will STILL have an aggressive dog.  Basically, once an unwanted behavior is learned, it either needs to be trained out, if possible, or dealt with.  

The thing we have to realize, is that for the most part, a dogs temperement is a dogs temperement.  You can only do so much with training.  Example, my girl has a high prey drive.  I can never take that prey drive away from her, no matter what I do.  If I wanted, I could help her not display the traits as much as that drive, but you can't eliminate it.  Just like if a dog has a low prey drive, you can not train them to have a high prey drive.  Yes, you can help BUILD the drive they have, but there's limitations.  If you take a high prey drive dog that has been trained to not react to moving prey, and put them in a situation where there are no people to step in, it won't be long before your dog is once again chasing the prey.  Temperement is temperement, like instincts are instincts.  You can shape, and train to some degree, but you can't change or eliminate.  Breed traits are breed traits, and as responsible owners, we have to understand them, and work with them.  Many dobermans have high prey drives, so, we do things to help them with their drives.  We train, do nosework, schutzund, other ring sports, tracking, agility, flyball, etc.  For those that understand that dobermans can be same sex aggressive, we don't put ourselves in situations that have the potential for disaster, and good breeders won't allow it to happen either.  

For the sake of this information, we have to also realize that there is a difference between learned behavior and temperement/instincts.

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Thanks again for the information. They all have there own crate 6X10x6 still open to roam my property.

But from the get-go I'm prepared for the worst, hope it doesn't come to that. I will keep you posted. thanks again.

Neutering *can* help - especially if done at a very young age, but it is no guarantee and same sex aggression - especially in males - is a Doberman trait.  There are people who can have males together successfully, but it is NOT the norm and I truly can't see taking the risk 99% of the time.

Don't feel that you need a new vet - no vet can know the breed characteristics of every breed out there - I don't expect my vet to be an expert on Dobermans when his breed is a sporting/hunting dog.