I got bit trying to stop a fight HELP!

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ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-22

Hi everyone,

I am in need for advice. I have 2 wonderful Dobermans and 2 great Yorkies. My husband was in a bad motorcycle accident 2 weeks ago. He is still in the hospital. I have been running around from home to hospital nonstop while still caring for the needs of our 4 dogs.

The dogs are obviously feeling the stress of my husband being away. Our first Doberman is Jax, almost 2 years old. We've had Jax since he was a puppy. We decided to get a friend for him. We got Teddy about 4-5 months ago. Teddy is about 1 1/2 years old. They get along GREAT. They play and are always cuddling with one another. The only aggression I've ever since with them is when they play tug of war and that's it.

So last Thursday they were all outside and all of a sudden they start fighting. I run over screaming telling them to "STOP IT STOP IT". They stop. Fast forward to Thursday evening. Teddy is following Jax with a determined look in his eyes. Teddy's focus is on Jax and nothing else. I keep calling Teddy's name to break the focus. Next thing you know, they start fighting again. I start screaming again and at this point I can tell things are not good. I have NO CLUE how to stop this fight. These are basically my children and I know I have to do everything in my power to get one in the kennel. I know it was stupid but I keep sticking my hand in there to seperate them. Next thing you know Teddy bites down HARD on my left fore arm. After Teddy finally releases, Jax goes crazy on him.

Long story short, I had to call the paramedics and go to the ER and get stitches. I feel that Teddy was trying to establish dominance and be the alpha male because my husband is not home. My husband is a fantastic discplinarian. Me, not so much. This would have never happened if my husband was home. Theres no way I want to get rid of Teddy. I've been keeping them seperated for now because Teddy has numerous gashes and boo-boo's and I don't want Jax to start licking them. If anyone has any advice on what to do moving forward it would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. Unfortunately my husband won't be coming home for a while so it's basically all on me right now as far as what to do with the babies.

I'd like to add that they are being seperated either by gates and seperate bedrooms or one is in a huge kennel in the living room. They haven't shown any aggression after the incident either.

 

THANK YOU!

AresMyDobie's picture
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Joined: 2015-02-28

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Hate to say this but dobermans are notoriously same sex aggressive :/ sad but true I'm hoping I don't have to experience that but we constantly monitor our boys and my other male is much older then our Doberman, our other male is also fixed. We never let them get rough with each other cuz we would never want anything to happen :( we have taken great steps to make sure they never over do boundaries cuz our other male is a lil guy. For now everything is fine but hormones aren't in the picture yet. Unfortunately  we were unaware of same sex aggression and are hoping it will never happen this is also why we are doing training in schutzhund to what we have heard keep a even tempered pooch ! I'm truly sorry that has happened to you but it is very common from what I read there are those on the forum that have males live in harmony together and never have an issue... Every dog is different and I would seek out a behaviorist and get it resolved or maybe more exercise is needed. I'm not an expert I've learned a lot from the forum and I hope you can too.

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-22

Thanks for your feedback and timely response.

karie's picture
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 hi sorry for all your stress hope your husband is ok . he was the dominant one with the dog s and they know that , since he is not there they have to figure outwho will take lead ! that's where you come in and take over for your husband let them know you are the boss now calmly and assertively don't let them escalate to a fight . good luck keep us posted , and hope your arm is not too bad !

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-22

Thank you for your kind words Karie. I do need to work on being an authority figure for sure.

I want to add that all the dogs are neutered as well.

Now that Jax put Teddy in his place, is there a huge likely hood that Teddy will try to be the alpha male again? I know this is tough to answer because nothing is guaranteed.

AresMyDobie's picture
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After a fight dogs should always be re introduced to each other in a positive way so there is no hard feelings if that makes sense ? Maybe take them for a walk together so it's in a controlled and enjoyable way and keep a good eye on them both. Jax could respond in a negative way but all in all it could work out ! And lots of exercise and mental stimulation !

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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Dogs should never be separated right after a fight. Take them to neutral ground and allow them to "make up". Separating directly after a fight just shows them that the other dog isn't to be trusted, because they didn't get to make up.

 

Don't do the greeting within the home, as both could feel territorial there. It sounds like you've got some stressed dogs, a stressed owner, and possible same-sex-aggression. Please be careful re-introducing them.

 

Another thing that could be happening is that they can feel how stressed you are, and feel the need to protect you from one another. With what you said, it's obvious that Jax was protecting you after you got bit. Teddy's actions are what worry me. You said that he was stalking Jax, and that silent stalking is a doberman trait. Another thing, talk to a behaviourist. Only a good behaviourist can tell you if it's truly male-on-male aggression or just something else. I'd also suggest getting their thyroids checked, a full panel, to make sure nothing's wrong there. 

 

Best of luck!

~Joelle and the kitties of doom

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-22

Thank you Wolfgirl and AresMyDobie.

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Once I reintroduce the dogs and things settle down, do I need to continue to keep one in the crate when I'm not home? Prior to all this, I always left the dogs to free range at home and never had a problem.

DobieWanKenobi's picture
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Yes, to that last question. In fact I would keep both of them crated, to prevent the loose one from irritating the caged one.

AresMyDobie's picture
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Yes agree both in the crate. 

 

You need to rehome one of them - you've already been injured, and it could happen again at any time.  They have already shown that they are aggressive with each other - they will always need to be kept seperate and it really is no way to live for either the dogs or the humans.

As someone else said, Dobermans are known for same sex aggression - especially males. 

Also, safely seperating them truely takes 2 people. You have to get behind them, each lift up a dogs rear end and back them away from each other until you can get ahold of them safely. If you only have one person then put a leash around the back end of one dog and get somewhere where you can secure that leash, then do the same with dog #2. 

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Joined: 2015-05-22

Hi everyone. So everything has been pretty calm at home for the most part. At one point Teddy became aggressive for literally 1 second towards Jax while Teddy was in his kennel. Not sure what triggered it. Maybe my Mom petting Jax made Teddy jealous.

Today I took both dogs to a park across from my house. I did this with the help of 3 other adults. The dogs showed no aggression to one another. They even kissed eachother for a brief moment. We then took the dogs back home and gave it a try in our backyard. Once again, no aggression. They were leashed the whole time.

I'm making a big effort to be in charge and show them that I am an authority figure. Thank god my husband is being discharged from the hospital today. I'm hoping things will settle down and with baby steps we can get back to the way things were.

Thank you again to those that commented. Feedback has been greatly appreciated.

Just as a note, I had two bitches that got along most of the time .... but when they didn't, it happened so fast and I never saw it coming.  Dealing with two 70 pound bitches intent on killing each other was very difficult - they wore greyhound muzzles in the yard.  I can't even imagine trying to pull two 90 lb males apart - and will never put myself in the position of having to do so. 

I'd be willing to bet that there is a 99% chance that your two males WILL get into it again and it might be worse than the last time.  There is a good reason why experienced Doberman people warn you not to have two males together. 

Danielleak's picture
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Well I half agree with fitzmar and half not.  There has been a SERIOUS change in the pack, not only did the alpha become Ill and go away but then the beta is majorly stressed.   I have always had male dogs and have only owned dobermans.  To say that 99% of paired males WILL fight is like stereo typing that the dog in itself is aggressive.  I agree a behaviorist is in order.  We all...two and four legged.... Lash out from stress.  My lex bit once but it was because the person grabbed his ear and tugged. When we went to vet there was an imbedded tick in his ear canal.  By fitzmars advice I should've rehomed him.  After 5 years not another moment.  My advice would also be that if you are afraid of your dog then fitzmar is correct, sadly to rehome. If you and your husband are comfortable and know your dog well then continue what your doing.

They have already fought - it is already a fact and it will most likely happen again. Teddy is getting to a classic age to start male on male aggression.... and has.  I doubt seriously that all will be hearts and flowers from now on. 

I know that some males are able to live together in harmony - but the majority of Doberman males don't.... and these two have already fought.  The owner has already been bit. As an experienced Doberman person, I would be remiss if I didn't recommend re-homing one of the boys.  I'd hate to see someone get seriously injured - at which point, you could not in good conscience rehome a dog with a human bite history and euthanasia would be the only real choice.  I'd hate to see that happen .... but it does happen all the time.

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Hello everyone,

 

I thought I would update everyone on the kiddies. My husband came home from the hospital on Memorial Day. All the kids were very excited to see him. My husband told me to let the dogs be together on Thursday. Reluctantly I allowed this. Everything has been fine thank god. I am not a nervous wreck anymore. We are keeping an eye on them at all times. They have not shown any aggression to one another. It feels like old times again. They have been sleeping through the night in their own beds which are 3 feet apart. I do realize a fight can happen again but am hopeful it won't.

 

Thank you again to all that commented.

Danielleak's picture
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So glad to hear your husband is home and on the mend:). I hope the best that all was due to stress and pack order. 

talisin's picture
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I have to agree with Fitzmar - they are doing great right now but they have fought and it will happen again.....and because you feel secure right now with them not fighting it will catch you off guard again and someone may get seriously injured or one of the dogs die.  Question is are you willing to take that chance ??? It's not fair to the dogs or the household dynamics to have this time bomb ticking.....Fitzmar is very knowledgable in this breed and their issues, if I had this situation and Fitz said rehome one I would never hestitate to follow that advice. Safety of the dogs first.

ILoveJuicySteak's picture
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Hello everyone, original poster here. I was feeling nostalgic and thought I'd update everyone. Yes. They fought again. Not just once, but several times. When I'm home alone, I keep the Dobermans seperated. They are only allowed to be near each other when Daddy (my husband, the Alpha) is home. One tried to get at the other 12 months ago or so while my husband was home one evening. My husband seperated them easily, the only problem was me screaming like a banshee. My parents (whom stay with us quite often) seemed to always think I was exaggerating about how scary a dog fight was. Well, my Mother learned the hard way. She always she she would be able to stop them. A few weeks ago she was alone with the Dobermans, our 2 yorkies AND OUR 5 WEEK OLD BABY. They fought, and she got bit, bad. Just tonight one went after the other, but of course my husband was able to seperate them immediately. So, those who said they would fight again, you were right. That's why they are only allowed to be near when my husband is around.