Accidents Happen, but its no fun when they're big ones..

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jeshykai's picture
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First disclaimer: I cried myself to sleep last night, so please, be kind in your responses.  I don't need any "you should have known's" or anything like that because yes, I probably should have known better.

Steve has been going through a very demanding, very high energy, obnoxious, terror stage.  I've increased his training and exercise for the last week because I've been home since school is out.  We run, we train, we play.  He shouldn't be so amped up but he is.  My first clue should have been that I needed to be more careful with him on Monday when I had him in an open field doing recall and he came careening towards me, didn't stop, and knocked into me with such force I fell, and fell hard and hurt my wrists and thumb (they are wrapped up as I pigeon type right now because they hurt so much.)  But he's a puppy, I didn't get mad, I just worked on "gentle" for the next 20 minutes and then we came home.

Yesterday on our second run of the day I found a group of dogs in an off-leash area of a park near our house.  I debated, then let him off the lead, and watched him play - play hard - for a good 45 minutes.  We walked home and I thought he should've been physically tired from that but no, he was even more amped up than normal.  I crated him, ran an errand, came home and was making dinner.  I always have all the dogs out together in the evenings because generally Steve is calmer and not as insane as he is in the mornings.  He proved me wrong on why this was a stupid decision on my part.

Generally the little dogs and I are on the couch and Steve is on the floor.  Miles (the chihuahua) and Harry jumped down to follow me into the kitchen and we were coming back when Steve rounded a corner, hit high gear, and went for Miles.  He took Miles out with such force I think he dislocated Miles' hip.  Here I am, crying again, because I just can't believe I didn't stop it from happening.  Miles didn't stop screaming for 10 minutes and when I finally calmed him down I was able to get him a pain pill (I have these things on hand.. thank god..).  But he can't bear weight on his back leg and he barely wants to walk at all from the pain.  He is worse this morning.  He hobbled out to go to the bathroom and then stopped, looked at me, and needed to be picked up and put back to bed.

I need some thoughts/prayers/general well wishes... I have to work today and I can't get Miles into the vet until I get home.  I'm praying that it is soft tissue, or that its only dislocated, because if he requires repair that is a very, very, hard and expensive surgery and it breaks my heart to think of how long the recovery time is for a hip replacement.  Miles may be small, but he has the heart of a doberman and wants to play and run and be a part of every moment of my life just like Steve does.

I feel like I failed him.  And I needed to vent.  Thanks for listening.

Lady Kate's picture
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Ahh Jes~ Bless your heart.. Hindsight is always 20/20.. You have always been one of the most responsible parents ever EVER and we've come to respect you so much and listen to your advice and suggestions.

How could you have possibly seen what would happen?? Steve is beginning to go into those teen age years.. he's still a puppy with all the puppy energy, but with a bigger and stronger body.. So sorry to hear about Miles, and I hope and pray he'll be okay, as you say, he has the heart of a Doberman and I think he'll respond to your tender care. I certainly hope that your hand heals quickly. What a horrible time to be 'down and out". 

Please don't be too hard on yourself...You're a great mom!!

much love and many prayers

Kate

glengate's picture
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I'm just going to be honest when I say that you're taking a huge risk mixing a male Doberman with 2 other male dogs, and you're also risking the lives of the little ones by mixing a bigger, powerful, rambunctious, often prey driven breed with a much more delicate breed. 

You also have to be careful with continually increasing Steve's exercise.  You run the risk of really building a canine athlete needing more and more exercise to reach the same result.  I am not of the belief that a tired dog is a good dog.  A trained dog is a good dog, and people often make the mistake of exercising more and more, and not training as much as they should.  I'm not saying you do that - I really don't know.  It's just a general comment.

I hope your little Miles is ok, but I think you really need to spend some time thinking about your household, and the possible danger for your little dogs.  Obviously, this is coming from someone who loves Dobermans.  The best thing we can do for them is set them up for success in their homes.  Bringing one into a home with chihuahuas is kind of a recipe for disaster. 

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Oh Jes, so sorry to hear about your accident!  I know that you are tearing your own heart out now with coulda shoulda maybe if onlys.  I hope you feel better soon, and that little Miles isn't hurt too badly (we always jump to worst case scenarios in our minds) and that he mends quickly.  Thoughts and prayers from our household of crazy zooming dogs to yours. 

I wonder if a "no running in the house" rule could be established like for kids.  I'm seriously thinking about it around here!

KevinK's picture
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I agree with Glengate and everything that was posted.  I would never, ever leave a male doberman alone with other male dogs, even if you think that they are best friends.  It's way, too risky. I would recommend, if you can't watch them 100% they should be separated.  I can't imagine what this must have been like, but you can easily stop future things from happening, and it could have been much, much worse than it was.  Just keep a good eye on them.

jeshykai's picture
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Well, I appreciate the well wishes.  When I posted this morning, I was upset and needing an outlet.  I am happy to inform Kate and Happydance -- Miles went to the vet this morning and we are okay.  No damage whatsoever, just a sore leg.  Thank you so much for taking the time to wish us well.  Miles is my heart and means more to me than most people will ever know.  He is one of those special dogs that enter your life once in a while.


I'm still upset about everything and if the rest I have to say comes out sharp, then that's because that is how I took what I read.  I'm not trying to have a flame war but I also want to address the judgements that were placed on me when I specifically asked that people keep it to themselves.

On the subject of how I organize my household.  I am not a novice and I know what I got into when I got into it.  I disagree that it is a male dog issue, it could be an any dog issue.  You have females and they will fight just as hard for status as male dogs will.  I have seen it first hand.  So, on that note, I didn't find that constructive criticism, it was just criticism.  I asked for responses if you were going to take the time to respond in a manner that was kind and the fact that you still felt the need to express your opinion in a manner that was hurtful I just really think was unfair of you.  If you think for one minute that I needed to hear that at this moment, you're wrong.  I know that you are speaking because you are in love with the breed and you have your opinions about how a household should be structured, but again, it is my choice to have it in the manner that I do.

I do seperate my dogs and work hard at their interactions, this happened in a second and there was nothing to be done about it.  Do you tell the person whose dog got out the front door and got hit by a car that they shouldn't have had the dog near the door at that exact moment because they should have saw that car coming? No.  You don't.  Every single accident that ever came into any hospital I have ever worked at not one time did you ever hear from any of our mouths anything but "I'm sorry and we will get through this".  You can not berate the people that are in their situations.  I put this on here so people could be aware of the problems they might face in a big dog, little dog, household but not so that people who aren't in my situation could try and tell me that I need to get rid of my dogs or not own this breed because I have small dogs.

Training is important, and I believe in it and I work hard at it.  I don't just have my dogs running around like idiots.  I don't run Steve because I think it takes place of training, I run him because I enjoy being athletic with my dog.  If I didn't want an athelete I would have stayed with the smaller breeds and had less of a headache.  I also don't think its a recipe for disaster to have a high drive dog and a chihuahua if you organize it right.  This was a flash of an issue that happened in a second a WARNING on how I need to address my house in the future.  It does not mean it is IMPOSSIBLE.  If you tell people they can have these dogs around children there is absolutely no reason why they should not be able to be around smaller dogs.  Steve is a PUPPY and a moron and I failed both him and Miles by not anticipating the energy in the household but it does not mean that either of them are leaving my life because when Steve settles down no one will ever say "He could someday eat your chihuahua".

I don't want to leave this forum over this, but right now I'm really bothered about this.  Every time someone has posted on here about things that I may not agree with I have done nothing but try and help them with the knowledge I have and hopefully help them live happy lives with their dogs.  I don't feel like I got treated with the same respect in this case at all.

Lady Kate's picture
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Jes... Am so glad that Miles is going to be all right.. I know what you mean about those "special heart dogs' and until someone has been owned  by one, they will  never understand..

Please don't take offense at some of the things that were written.. They're only opinions and just like.. _$$____$ everyone has one. 

I for one would miss you like crazy if you stopped posting.. You've brought soo much light and wonderful information to this forum and if it weren't for you, Sofia would have fingernails like the Dragon Lady..

How is your hand? ( see now.. you HAVE to stay, as you have impeccable manners and it would be rude not to answer!

Much love, respect and appreciation from Kate and Sofia.

glengate's picture
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You're right, it is your choice to run your household as you see fit.  But, when someone puts the lives of their little dogs at risk, you really can't expect others to just sit back and say hey, go for it.  Maybe you didn't make that decision lightly, but that doesn't change the risk factor for the little guys. 

Personally, I don't care for forums and/or responses that are all sweetness and light, rainbows and lollipops and all about how strangers just KNOW you'll be able to get through it because, well, I don't know why because.  I'm a practical person, and I'm not going to sugarcoat the situation.  To be honest, I don't know if you're a novice or not - there ARE a lot of them on here.  I think my response was constructive, and showed that I care about the lives of your little dogs.  I think it's unfair of you to put a situation out there and ONLY expect tea and sympathy.  This situation that you are calling a warning could have resulted in a severe injury - you got lucky this time.  Miles got lucky.  *Because* serious issues do happen in a flash is exactly why one would usually seek to avoid them, and not put a tiny, vulnerable dog at risk at all.  Because if you don't "organize it right", you could have a dead or crippled chihuahua. 

I honestly don't know how you could be bothered that someone is concerned enough about your little dogs to offer an honest opinion. 

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Because you don't slap someone on the wrist and say "you shouldn't have" after the fact, glengate.  I appreciate that you are speaking from a place in which you are trying to be helpful but I also don't think that it was appropriate.  I have made it public knowledge on this forum that I have small dogs.  When I first joined, I even had questions about how people have put their small dogs and big dogs together because I wanted to learn if there was a better way of doing it.  Why didn't you chime in at that point and state your opinion then before something happened?  At that time, when I am not an emotional mess, I could have said, "Huh, valid point.  I will have to think more about this".  I just honestly don't see that your statement right now was helpful. 

When people post pictures on here of them taking their puppies out in the dirt, or parks, I say "You know, here's some information on vaccines and why that could be a problem."  I don't say, "You're a bad dog owner and you should get rid of your dogs because they might get parvo and die".

Miles is 11 pounds and sturdy for a chihuahua he is not a fragile, 5 pound, shaking dog.  He has been around big dogs and plays rough with them all his life.  His best friend is 90 pounds.   I have had him for seven years and I know the situations that he can handle.  This was an accident.  And you're right,  he could have gotten crippled.  And Steve could break out of our yard and get hit by a bus.  Or maybe he will bite a person someday.  But I'm not going to live my life for fear of these things.  You know, unlike some people who do awful things to their dogs, I try and give mine a good quality life.  And if he was crippled I would've shelled out the thousands of dollars to fix him when other people would have said, "that sucks that happened, guess we'll euthanize him".

You're right, I set myself up in coming on here and trying to share a personal story.  But I thought of all places, where better to get it off your chest?  It shouldn't be sugary rainbows but it also shouldn't be deragotory either. 

I know that you are trying to come from a place of educated concern, but this is where text is an issue because to me I don't read it that way.

KevinK's picture
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Male on Male aggression is a common, serious, and well documented problem with dobermans.  You can't say "dogs play rough".  Many male dobermans need to be separated from other male dogs at all times because of this.  I don't think anyone was trying to rain on your parade, I think they were just saying it's best if your male doberman is either separated from your other dogs, or he needs to be constantly watched around them, 100% of the time.  

I know you didn't want to hear responses like this, but go tell any experienced doberman owner that your male doberman just knocked the crap out of your other male dog, and they would say the same thing... It's almost like holding a lit match near a piece of paper, and then being surprised that the paper caught on fire.  How do you avoid this?  You don't put the match near the paper, because you never know when that breeze will blow just the right way.  Usually when you're not looking.

Again, I'm saying this to be helpful, seriously, so don't get offended.  Also so that you understand why this could have happened, and how to prevent things like this from happening in the future.  It's not a matter of if your other dogs will get attacked, it's more like when. 

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Look -- I'm going to apologize for probably flying off the handle about all of this and no one ever wants to hear the bad things and I seriously don't want to head into the holidays with more thoughts on this.  It's not so much that I was offended, its just that I shouldn't have posted on here in the first place.

People do stupid things with their dogs every day.  Every day there's an injury because someone made a mistake with them.  I've had people come in, hysterical, because their little dog got killed a dog park by another dog.  I just would never have told her in that moment, "You really shouldn't bring small dogs to a dog park where they can be around other dogs that could kill them".  To me, it just wouldn't have made any difference.  The dog was still dead.  But when she brought her next puppy in and I said, "I think you can socialize your dog in this manner with dogs you know" it was better received than if I had said it when she was dealing with the emotions of the situation.

You're entitled to your opinions.  Good luck with your dogs.

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Gosh, jes, I've been gone all day today and just now getting around to reading the latest dobie stories on this forum. 

I'm so sorry to hear about Miles and Steve's accident, but on the other hand, am happy to hear that Miles' injuries aren't nearly as serious as you originally thought it could have been.  I have small dogs, also, and I know how hard it was to keep Ziva from accidentally hurting them when she was Steve's age---still young enough to think she was small, full of energy and wanting to play with them, but big and strong enough to do some real damage, even if it wasnt intentional.  It's a hard job being a good doggie 'parent' and I'm sure just from reading your posts in the past that you are NOT slack in that department.  Like you said, accidents DO happen, and if we could forsee them coming, we could avoid all injuries to our babies...but that is impossible.  We just have to live and learn, do the best we can, and go forward. 

Hoping for a fast recovery for Miles.

jeshykai's picture
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Thanks Z.  Miles is feeling much better after his pain meds kicked in and is totally relaxed because Steve went on an outing with family to play with his older brother so the little guys could just have a calm night.

I know it was puppy enthusiasm, like you said, he doesn't know his size and sees a friend he wants to play with and then is a little too rough.. and there you go. 

It'll all work out.  I'm thankful for the support that I received because honestly, thats all I was seeking.  At least I know there is hope at the end of all this because I know from reading here that other people have dobermans and little dogs too.  It's easier when they are out of the puppy stage, for sure.

Lady Kate's picture
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See Jess.. There ARE some "Gentle" Doberman Forum folks out there.

I was appalled at some of the responses to her request for "thoughts, prayers and general well wishes". I was under the impression that this is what this forum is all about...GENTLE

. There's another forum out there for rude behavior and finger wagging.

. We all do the best we can, and if we have a problem we come here to get help and comfort not get railed at..

Shame on you guys for being so cold and hateful to this lady who has done nothing but help and suggest in the most 'gentle' way.

She stated at the onset of her post:

First disclaimer: I cried myself to sleep last night, so please, be kind in your responses.  I don't need any "you should have known's" or anything like that because yes, I probably should have known better.

But wow,,.. did you guys ignore that.. You jumped on the band wagon and beat her up after her heart and spirit was broken. I repeat shame on you. 

Glengate wrote: Personally, I don't care for forums and/or responses that are all sweetness and light, rainbows and lollipops and all about how strangers just KNOW you'll be able to get through it because, well, I don't know why because. 

I'm not sure what that means. When you know "why because", please let US know.

There's never EVER a reason to be unkind.

I am happy to hear that Miles will be okay.. I hope that Jess will too.. I'd personally like to thank her for her suggestions and respect for this Gentle Doberman Forum

glengate's picture
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To the best of my knowledge, the term Gentle Doberman forum is because it was a breeder who called their kennel Gentle Dobermans who started the forum, not because we're all under a mandate to act gentle.  Nevertheless, no one "railed" at the original poster.  Neither is it finger wagging, nor an attack, and neither is it beating her up.  What is so hard to understand about the fact that ALL of the posters, including myself, are concerned about Miles???  Jeshykai can take care of him/herself.  Miles can't, so yes, I do feel the need to speak up.  An 11 lb dog IS fragile compared to a young, rambunctious, powerful Doberman. 

There is a big difference in the example jeshykai gave about a small dog being killed in a dog park.  That dog is dead, so ya, I guess saying something then won't make a difference.  Miles isn't dead, thank heavens.  So again, why would anyone think it unwise or unkind to advise that this might be a really problematic or impossible situation?  Why didn't I chime in at an earlier point?  Gee, maybe because I don't read every post here!  Quite frankly, I had no idea before this thread that Steve lives with 2 chihuahuas.  Or maybe the other one is something else, I don't even know.  If I had realized earlier, I probably would have said something earlier.  Would it really have been better received at a different time?  I doubt it.  People feel they have the right to do whatever they want to do.  They don't want to hear any different. 

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A lot to read over but I agree with Kate and Ziva,I think Jeshykai was just looking for a little support and well wishes.Not ' I told you so's '.It was a huge lesson learned that fortunately turned out as good as can be,and I think it's safe to say won't happen again.In my 39 years I've grown up with Male dogs, female dogs,4 Dobermans,1 Shephard,countless little lap dogs,and even a few cats.All living together at one time or another.I've seen fights and rough play from dogs,cats,females,males,big, and small.I've never seen anything in my REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES that would suggest males can't be part of the same pack as other males.This wasn't about aggression,it was about a large puppy that forgot his size and strength for a moment.I'm going through the same thing with my male puppy and my female Westie Terrier right now.He's 60 pounds and she's 20 pounds.Just three months ago they were the same size and he still doesn't realize how much stronger he is than her now.

 Jes,I know from reading your posts that you are a responsible parent that can handle your dogs.You learned a lesson from this and I'm sure you've already made the necessary changes.I wish I'd read this sooner to provide a little support when needed and asked for,but I'm happy to hear everything will be OK.Best wishes for Miles speedy recovery.

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First off I am somewhat new to this forum going on a month or so..

I am going through this also. I have a female Doberman puppy who was 11 lbs when we brought her home. She is now 34 lbs and loves to play, we also have 2 female small shitzus. One is 15 years old and only weighs 8 lbs. Our other one is 11 years old weighing in at 19 lbs.

I was concerned when I brought Bella into our home, but am determined to make it work. Our last Doberman male past away, which after we were able to get through the grieving process we really wanted another one.

Accidents happen, can we try to prevent them sure you can. I think most people do all they can to prevent anything bad from happening.  I would agree Bringing a strong Doberman puppy into your home with small dogs is a risk, but so is getting  into your car to drive. I am not trying to take sides. I understand where both of you are coming from. But I do believe the approach by some of the people were a little harsh. Yes the dog could have been seriously hurt ~ thank God it wasn't. I enjoy this forum, I enjoy any feedback you all give me when you have time.

Jes - I am glad your dog is okay, and I hope you are too.  

Kevin & Glen - Just a couple of questions. Could you give us some positive suggestions on how to get the dogs to adjust to one another or some ideas. Or are you completely against bringing a large breed into a small dogs home? Maybe some of your experiences with this particular situation could help those of us who strongly agree it can work out if done properly. Or maybe if you had a bad experience it would let others understand why you feel so strongly against it.

For me - I never leave our dobey puppy alone with our small dogs if I am not home. and I monitor them extremely closely when they are all out together. I did learn a great tip from watching Caesar (the dog whisper) on this  exact situation. He says to stop it in the beginning you will need to watch them at all times, and  every time the larger breed trys to play, bite or attack a smaller dog in the same family. The Alpha ( person) must stop it immediately and be consistent, he suggested grabbing the back of the larger breeds bottom with a firm grip that somewhat hurts - continue to do this. But heres the kicker.. most small dogs are spoiled like crazy mine are (Held all the time, they are demanding, and usually with a smaller dog, us people make the mistake of letting them be bossy b/c they are so cute" Well you will also need to discipline them obviously not like the bigger dog, but the smaller dog will tend to run around, or in front of the larger breed and for a Doberman puppy thats extremely hard for them to just ignore the smaller dog and not engage in playful behavior. So if your smaller dog is constantly walking around in front of the Doberman then it's not fair to expect him to not try to play. Most of the time the smaller dogs are doing this intentionally. so get on to them in front of the larger breed. Just say NO firmly or your dogs name and bad girl/ boy or whatever sentence you may use to punish the Doberman.  This has helped my ordeal tremendously. It has not solved the problem yet .. bc I still have a Doberman Puppy who loves to play. but it really has calmed it down to some degree.

It's still chaos in my household when the 3 dogs are out. Bella has almost completely left the older dog alone. I think she knows that she may really hurt her, but that does not mean I have stopped watching them.

Bella recently started sharing her toys and food bowl with the 11 year old shitzu. It's a baby step, but this only started after I used the dog Whispers suggestions.

I hope I have not added any fuel to the fire. I only wanted to give suggestions and hopefully will get some advice from others who have been able to blend a dobey puppy in with a smaller breed and how they did it.  Or from those who haven't and had bad experiences perhaps you could tell us some of the things "not to do"  

I do believe we can all agree that we are all Dog lovers on this forum. This we have in common.. other things we can politely agree to disagree..

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!      

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I don't mix breeds of dis-similar size.  The other breed I've had with Dobermans is German shorthaired pointers, a breed of similar size.  *If* something starts up between them, they can hold their own while I intervene, not that I've had anything happen between them.  Their play style is similar, they can rough-house without hurting each other.  One stepping on the other isn't going to break a leg.  It's just my opinion that it's not fair to the small dogs because dogs are dogs, and things happen no matter how careful you think you are or how much you think you're watching.  I have not personally had a bad experience between a small dog and a larger dog because it's just not something I'd do.  As I said before, I prefer to set situations up for success and I prefer to avoid situations that could get a small dog seriously harmed or killed.  I'm not pointing fingers at anyone when I say that I overlook my own preference in this matter.  If I wanted a small breed, I just wouldn't get one while I own Dobermans or any other much larger dog.  I would look at the vulnerability of the dog before my own desire.  And I might add that is coming from someone who has owned Dobermans for 30 years and titled 9 (I think) of them in obedience and will title probably 2 more next year.  IOW, someone who is not a novice and who trains more than the average joe.  Although my dogs tend to be trained more than the average owner's, I still wouldn't throw a small dog into the mix.  That's just me. 

I've also been quite involved in rescue in the past, and believe me, I know how many Dobermans get thrown away when they hurt the small dog in the house.  Granted, a lot of those owners were in over their heads with a Doberman, period.  But obviously, seeing how often it doesn't work has coloured my opinion greatly just the same.  I don't like seeing a Doberman dumped because it has hurt a small dog, but otoh, if it's going to save the little dog's life then I'd rather help find the Doberman a more suitable home.  The Doberman is always "the bad guy" in these situations, no matter how annoying the little one might be to the Dobe.  I hate seeing the Doberman breed get a bad reputation when it has often harmed the little one unintentionally. 

I wish I had positive suggestions.  I don't.  I'm sorry, it's just not something I believe in.  For everyone, there are acceptable risks and unacceptable risks.  For me, it goes in the unacceptable file. 

First off I have to say I'm very sorry to hear what happened to Miles. I'm so glad that he is okay. I felt your pain as I read through your original post and cried myself. NOthing worse than one of your dogs hurting and you cant make it better. Glad he is okay though.

I currently have 3 Dobermans in the house right now along with my middle daughters Chihuahua who is only 5lb. My daughter is temporarily living with us for the next several months so this is not a permanent situation.


My older girls (dogs that is) are 9 and 6. They do fine with the little dog as they are pretty aware of where she is at all times and they dont play around in the house. My youngest boy who is 13mo old has to be on a leash and watched at all times that they are in the same room. Luckily we have a large house and they are separated most of the time. When they are together it is not a sit back easy situation. He doesn't know how big he is and how rough even his nose shoves are. He has high prey drive and if she runs he is all over it. I would not be able to live for a long period of time with the mix, but I know this is temporary so we deal with it.


How we handle it at our house is Number one rule, they are never let outside together period. When she is upstairs in our area of the house he is on leash or we sit right there to intervene. Which I have to say is a constant leave it! I cant blame him he is just a young boy with lots of energy and like I said before doesn't understand how big and powerful he is. He likes to do this shove with his nose and it is constant with her. Another thing he does is paw her, to him it is gentle but to a 5lb dog it is not. These are things that happen in the blink of an eye and could be very bad with such a small dog. I certainly would not have this mix on a permanent basis. I like it when all the dogs can be together and live together. It's a pain in the butt to make sure so and so is not with this dog or that one as many people have to live with on a day in day out scenario.

Here is my one cute photo of the 2 of them. The toy that they are playing with is one of Romeo's favorite ropes and he is holding it by the very tip of his teeth letting her pull away on it. you can see how small she is in this photo.

Another good point that was brought up is Doberman male aggression towards other males. This is not a statement to be taken lightly, IT IS  A FACT! Doesn't matter what size or breed of the dog. Most male Dobermans are dog aggressive. As a breeder I will not sell a male into a home that already has a male dog in it. This is just asking for problems. It doesn't sound like that is what happened with Miles at all but it is something to be aware of in the future

I think most things that happen to the small dogs that live with bigger dogs are just accidents. The larger dog may not mean to hurt them but things happen and it can happen very quickly. I have a friend that has always had Dobermans and multiple. She had a small dog that one of her big dogs accidentally dropped a bone on it and crushed the head. I mention this story because I could easily see this happening in front of my own eyes. How devastating. Some people original reaction might be to beat the large dog and don't think it doesn't happen I can relate several stories about things like this. So if a person has a couple little dogs and 1 big dog who is the first to be thrown out when they discover it is not a good mix? The answer is the big dog, rescues are filled with it.

Glengate I think your response was taken the wrong way, I totally saw it for what it was. Their was concern for the little dog and the Doberman involved. You are a very experienced Doberman breeder/owner/trainer and I for one appreciate your words of wisdom in all areas.

Jeshykai again I'm so sorry  for what happened to your little guy. I don't think anyone was particularly trying to rub salt in the very fresh wound but the opposite showed care and concern for all of your dogs. Words are sometimes hard to relate the emotion behind them, as is easily found on many texts, messages and forums. I really felt your pain through your post and wanted so much for little Miles to be okay. I know how bad it must have been to have to wait through the night to be able to take him in to the vet not knowing if he had a dislocated leg or what might have been the problem. I could just picture myself in the same situation crying away for the pain I felt the dog was in. When one of my dogs are hurt it shuts my entire world down as I'm sure was yours until you heard from the vet that he was okay.

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I understand the place at which glengate was attempting to come from, and even Kevin, but the situation I don't think called to open it up for discussion.  That being said, all the points are valid.  And I agree, this arrangement is not for everyone because it does require a lot of work.

I wrote about it because I wanted people to know it is a risk - and I know it is - but so are so many things that we choose to do on a daily basis.  It happened in a flash and it was one of those things that if Steve didn't run into the coffee table with Miles, he probably would've tumbled Miles, and we would've been fine.

We have always had Steve tied up at night and had the little dogs on the couch, as he's gotten older, and listened with going on his bed, we've been a little lax on this.  We aren't going to be any more.  I keep the dogs separate most days - I have a special dog room that is off of my living room (it's a sun room that we use for the dogs) and either Steve is in it, or the little dogs are in it.

No my situation is not ideal, however, I took the old dog as a favor for a friend so he wouldn't die because they were having a baby and I've had Miles like I've said for 7 years.  When Miles was younger he was able to walk and hike with me but he's at that age now where he'd rather cuddle and sleep.  I want an active dog, we have a house, the resources, etc to have one and so I got one.

No, I never advocated that other people should have the arrangement that I do.  However, I too have done dog training and ownership (not breeding) for many years and I have certificates, etc, on it whatever... I don't think I should even have to state that as a fact.  It doesn't even matter.  This wasn't even about lack of training, or anything, it was pure and simple bad luck.

I know the risks first hand of a big dog and little dog interactions going wrong.  My mom's dog when we were young was a shepherd and one day he saw my grandma's poodle and though they had known each other before he set out to kill the poodle - and he did.  It's a story I hear often from my mom because it is traumatic.

I appreciate the discussion that it has opened up and I'm sure plenty of people have things to think about if they have small dogs and want to bring a big dog into the situation.  I have had pit bulls, shepherds, collies, pointing griffons, mixes, mutts, trained, untrained, messes in and out of my life.  I have always managed with what I have and it is my personal choice and that's the bottom line.  Nothing anyone says about giving up any of my dogs is going to effect me and I don't think that that should have been brought up in the first place.  We are all dog lovers here and know first hand that these dogs are often not dogs at all - but are our family.

Thank you for taking the time to speak on your personal opinions on how you should own dogs, but again, I just don't think this was the thread to do it in.  

Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday.

 

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Jess~~ You're a class act!

KT

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I wish I could stay out of things that don't involve me. But I suppoose I'm involved enoughto read through and can't help my opinions forming as I read.
Jed, I read ur posts with utmost attention to an experienced voice. I appreciate and respect the knowledge you share as I do with most of those who post comments here at Gentle Doberman.
The first time I saw this site, there was one word that attracted me and hooked me into reading... "gentle". I just don't know of a more precise word for a Doberman. They have the best dispositions and attitudes towards everything I refer to as life.
When I saw your first post regarding the accident, it frightened me enough that I read it very slowly. When a Doberman owner starts off with "I cried myself to sleep", well who wants to keep reading? But obviously I did, just slowly because I expected the end of story to be your Dobe died. I was so relieved that all the dogs are okay and healing!
While shopping for Christmas presents, I saw one of the increasingly popular shopping bags for sale, peace signs, doves and the words "Give Peace a Chance"
Hugs to all your animals! I'm giving my Leo a big one as I type this last letter!
It's all good.
Merry chritmas yesterday.

Jes... my post was not meant to offend YOU at all, like I said I cried when I read your post and like Bbroyles I was afraid that it was going to have a bad ending. I only wrote what I wrote because I"m living with a Chihuahua and a over exuberant young male right now and someone asked for suggestions. I agree that this post originally was probably not the place to give advice but it has turned into something else as usually does with most postings that people make. So not to hurt you or your feelings at all. I look at it like this it may help someone else reading this down the line.

It was asked earlier in this thread by Rhondab for suggestions on positive suggestions on how to mix small and large dogs. I just told my household story of what we have to do right now in my house. It is a pain in the butt and I'm sure that my daughter is equally as upset about it. We all wish that they could just be in the same room together without problems but they cant. We tried last night to sit down as a family and watch a movie. Romeo would not leave the little guy alone and again he wasn't trying to hurt him didn't matter how much we corrected him he just would not quit. It ended with the poor little guy going downstairs and in the crate. I would have put Romeo in his crate but he had been in it all day while we were away.

One more thing that I'd like to add is my other GOOD experience in our family with a small dog and the Dobes. My husband came home one weekend with a rescued Chihuahua mix a little sturdier than the one that lives in the house now. He was about 20lb but very overweight from thyroid problems. We weren't sure his exact age but knew he was a senior. I was not to happy with him for bringing him home but he told me the circumstances and we welcomed in our home to live the rest of his life. I had 2 Dobermans at the time Boo who would have been about 3 and Elly around 6-7. We had a litter of puppies and kept a girl from that litter which is Paris. Paris was raised with Bandit the Chi mix. I never had ANY problems with this mix at all!

I think one of the major differences was Paris is much more laid back and does not race around like a wild man like her son Romeo. I started training Paris from very early on and she had her CGC the week she turned 6mo old. Romeo on the other hand has been trained differently due to our Schutzhund stuff and he is a little more out there. Females seem to mature faster than males mentally. Not once did bandit get hurt in our house. Now in that situation all our dogs lived together all the time and their was no separation. They all seemed to know where the little one was  when running outside and avoided him. In the house they didn't run around so we didnt' have to worry like I do with Romeo. The Chi mix lived out the rest of his life being loved in our home I had to put him to sleep a few years back due to medical problems and age.

I think it will be interesting to see if I can get Romeo more trained this year as we start the obedience section of Schutzhund to be able to have more control around my daughters Chi. Although they will be moving out of the house in Feb they will live close and come to visit often brining with them the Chi.

Jes I'm looking forward to hearing how you go about handling your combination. As you stated it will not be easy, I know mine wont be either.

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All valid points. Jess, you've got character.

Many dog owner's have the habit of overly trusting their dogs. And then some have had problems like these in the past and won't trust a dog at all.

My home is more like RND's. We have two Chihuahuas and three Dobermans. Our two girl Dobermans both had litters in the past, and both treat the Chihuahuas like puppies and look after them. Actually, when I let the Chihuahuas outside, I worry about them unless I put one of the girls out there too in order to look after them.

Drayko, a whole male, was also great with the Chihuahuas. His favorite dog to play with was our 2.5 pound male Chihuahua Juan. They're play - however - did not include touching, just barking and bouncing around the yard, a slight nip on Juan's butt from time to time. OF COURSE, I WAS RIGHT THERE WATCHING THE PLAY AND GRUNTING AT ANYTHING I DIDN'T LIKE.

In the house NO DOBERMAN is allowed to play or be rambunctious. That's one of the big no-no's around here.

Logan is Drayko's son. Logan isn't quite as smart of his dad, but he's similarly gentle. He tip-toes around the Chihuahuas, but still, I'm watchful and extremely hard on him for displaying any type of prey drive toward the Chihuahuas or inside the house. (We've got two cats two - one that's overly friendly)

Young male Dobermans are an accident machine, so are young female Dobermans, to a slightly lesser extent. What you have to do during this stage (past age 2) is mold these characteristics. That's what the breed was created for. A Doberman is a highly concentrated bottle of dog formulated for those really tough jobs.

But, once everyone is mature enough to control their own bodies, trained well enough to accept your commands as a do-or-die proposition, know the house-rules, and pack politics are all settled - Dobermans do great around small animals. That's what I've found anyway, with our dogs.

We've had a number of rescue Dobermans come though. Each was a different story of course. Some were not allowed near the Chihuahuas. Some eventually were. Some wanted to play with the Chihuahuas, some showed aggression, and some wanted to hide from them.

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Just to clarify, my post was not meant to be rude, or anything other than informative.  I realize how right after something bad happens, the last thing you want to hear is "well, you shouldn';t have done xxxxxx" and for that I'm sorry. 

Again, just to be clear, male dobermans do NOT do well with other males.  This seriously could have gone much, much, worse.  There is no way to properly "introduce" your dobe to your other males.  If you can not 100% keep a good, close eye on them, they need to be separated at all times, for life.  It is very possible that as your dobe gets older and more mature, he will become more and more aggressive towards your other dogs. Under no circumstances should your dobe ever be left alone with the other males.  And I mean never.  Not to go to the bathroom, answer the phone, go the mail, never.  This is NOT a training issue, it's a male doberman issue.

The reason why I made my post regardless of your state of mind, was simply in case you didn't know about doberman males and how they react around other males.  If you keep them together, this will certainly not be an isolated incident, and your dobe very well may end up hurting or killing one of the other males in the house.  It's a very serious issue, that's why I made the post I did.  It was not meant to be offensive, mean, or rude.  But regardless of someone being upset, it needed to be said, in my opinion.

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I doubt this was a case of aggression. It sounds to me like Steve was being a normal puppy and accidentally hurt Miles.

I've seen male aggression in some rescue Dobermans we've had, during and shortly after the dog's puberty. But for the most part, with only a couple exceptions I can think of, I've never dealt with Doberman-male-agression. I've heard about it. But, with the males I've raised, there's never been even a slight problem.

Of course, most of my male-Doberman experience is with an amazing dog named Drayko. He was about as sure, steady, and sweet as they come. And, I tend to run a very tight ship when it comes to dogs and their little ideas about hierarchy, and no one is confussed about who is in charge.

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I only opened up the discussion to help - there was no intent to hurt or harm anyones feelings. I just thought by asking the questions it would create a platform for each side to explain why they feel so strongly about the opinions they gave. Along with perhaps the opportunity to help guide or give others advice when bringing new family members into the home. I could have started a new thread, I just thought it would be good to touch on it under this one since it was already being addressed. Sorry about that.

Rhonab I dont think their is any reason for you to apologize. I think your post did just that it created a platform for people to expose both sides. I think this is a very important topic to really be discussed further.

I do feel that this would be an excellent post/subject to talk about further on another thread though. That way as new people are looking through the forums and are wanting to know about big dogs/little dogs then they have the info available and it more easily found under an appropriate title.

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Rhonab - Rnd - wasn't trying to imply I was mad/upset/offended at this point with that last point.  I was just trying to finish addressing my take on it with a little more explanation.  So please, sorry if you thought I was upset with your comments/questions - I wasn't.  I think when the thread took the direction it did another thread should have been started.  But it started something, didn't it?  Miles looks bemused at me right now as he's stretched out on the couch... if only he knew he started such a hot topic!

Alpha - character, or ah... spit?  ;)  I'm glad to read that others have had no issue with the smaller dogs and really pleased it is another chihuahua home!  

And yes, Alpha, it was pure and simple puppy. Steve has not shown any sign of aggression and more often than not it's the older dogs snarling at him to stay away.  Steve plays well with the dogs he is around and tends to match their level (he's in my sunroom right now playing his 4th, 5th? hour of tug with my sister's rottie).

You can have documented cases of many things with different breeds and not only are they genetic defaults but traits to be aware of.  I don't think it is something to judge a dog off of as an individual.  I did know that there could be male-to-male aggression, however, of all of Steve's lineage there is no documentation of this.  I'm just surprised my original post made anyone think it was aggression... lord, if it was, the whole topic would have been different.

 

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Just so you all know.. Bellas ignoring me now.. saying I should have minded my own business and stayed out of it. lol  Especially since she has a crush on Romeo ~ She loves those bad boys!  

No fowl no harm - It's all good! Now Bella on the other hand ~ Well shes back in Diva mode. Gosh her mom has gone and embarrassed her again. I wonder what Aunt Sofia & Uncle Buddy would have to say about her behavior.. tsk tsk.

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ditto bbroyles

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So cute :)

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Just saw these sweet big dog/little dog photos, and I just have to add mine

 

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Ziva makes an excellent pillow...!!  

Next time I let Eli's parents babysit Miles (they were so quick to say, "We will take him!!") I will have to get pictures of how he and Watson play and cuddle.  I never see Miles happier than when he's with his big friend Watson.

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wow,  how did I miss this thread?   been online sporatically this past week or two and fnially got to this one. 

 

Jes, I"m really glad to hear everyone is ok -

 

Lots of good points about several things in this thread for sure.  I agree this probably wasn't the best thread to start it on though.  Just remember that for everyone that has had a bad expirience there are others that have not, and even experts often disagree.  It's the internet, so don't let it upset you......things come off more harshly than intended, it's hard to express feelings when you type (unless your have the writing genius of lady kate and Sofia that is).  Someone will always agree and someone will always disagree. 

 

Best of luck to your entire dog family on an accident free, New Year!  :)