Rescued a male Doberman, this is a new breed to me!

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alexa4249's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-06

Hi there! I am new to the board and I have lots of questions! :) I just rescued an 18 month old male unaltered purebred dobe and he is wonderful! I dont have a lot of information on the dog, the lady we rescued him from said he was fixed right in front of us while we are looking straight at him and hes clearly not! She said he didnt get along with her male German Shepherd and her shepherd was alpha and they were fighting all the time. My questions and concerns are, I have a male dog as well who is a husky mix and not an alpha dog at all. Hes a big goof and wouldnt even know how to establish dominance towards a mouse, let alone a big male dog. When we first introduced the two, the dobe wanted to fight. So we backed them away from each other, gave them a minute and slowly reintroduced them. This was all done in neutral territory while they were both restrained. They did fine. The dobe started to ignore our dog and everything was going ok. We can have them in the same room together, as long as they are together they are fine, the weird thing is, if we seperate them we a baby gate, the dobe gets aggressive and growls and snaps. If our dog is on a lead, the dobe gets aggressive but if the dobe is on lead and our dog is running loose, hes fine. Theres only a problem if our husky is restrained then the dobe wants to attack or unless our dog is jumping all over him, otherwise he is fine. Is this normal to the breed? could it be worked out since they do get along or at least tolerate each other when together? My other concern is I have a 2 year old son and a baby on the way. This dog has been absolutely wonderful with my son and doesnt get nervous or shy away, but Im nervous. My son is like any typical 2 year old and doesnt understand how some behaviours can scare a dog or stress a dog out. Is a dobe generally good with children of this age and what signs should I look out for if there should be a problem? I am an experienced dog owner, especially with large breeds and have had a rescue and worked through rescue groups but I have never owned a dobe or been around them that much. To my knowledge they all are very individual in their characteristics and shouldnt be generalized in personality as a breed. This dog is has only been here 2 days but seems to be of very sound mind, is not shy or nervous around people at all and hasnt left our side. Every time I called my sons name, the dog would get up and go check on him.Sorry for such a long post but thanks to any advice I can get!

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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OH my dear... thank you so so much for trying so hard to give this guy his forever home. But frankly I see disaster written all over it.. In fact not wanting to sound dramatic.. it's more like a ticking time bomb.

It's not a matter of 'if...' it's more a matter of when. NOT that you're not a wonderful and responsible pet owner.. not that you won't try as hard as you can to keep the two boys separated CONSTANTLY.. including feeding, walking, playing, training.. But with a toddler and a baby on the way... you are already on overload.

I"m sure you've already gotten attached to this rescue, but rather than get your heart broken and have to send him to a shelter..or worse yet witness a horrific fight that can and will end in bloodshed or worse...  please contact a doberman rescue organization close to you.

That's all I am going to write at this time as I'm sure you're going to hear from a lot of these Forum members re: same sex aggresion and the like.

Thank you for writing... sorry it's such a difficult way to welcome a new member..

Good luck

Katie Sofia and Bella.

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Welcome to the forum!

Thank you for the rescue work you have done - we love rescue folks here!

Hate to say it, but I agree with Lady Kate. The person you got this dog from has already been dishonest with you, and it only makes sense that she would rehome the dog with problems. Male on male aggression is a real problem with many Dobes, and they really are much happier being the only dog (or the only dog of that sex) than many other breeds.

He also comes with the baggage of coming from a home that obviously was not capable of taking good care of him.

That you have a 2 year old and one on the way - hoo boy. That's more than a plateful. I agree that it would be best to turn him over to a rescue and let them find him a wonderful home without other male dogs. You've done him a big favor getting him out of that home - now do him a bigger one (and you as well!) and help him find the perfect home!

Dobermans require a lot of time and attention! Later on down the line, after diapers, etc. (lol) - if you would still love to have a Dobe, you'll be much better prepared, (and have more time) to raise a lovely Dobie baby. And do a great job at it, too!

alexa4249's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-06

Thats the thing, if they are seperated they growl at each other. If they are together and my husky isnt restrained or both a not restrained, they are fine. When I got up this morning, I let the dobe out of our room and he was greeted by my other dog and they were both wagging tails and seeming happy to see each other. The only time the dobe growled at my dog was when my husband was sitting on the couch with our dog at his feet and the dobe was on the other side of the baby gate.I have grown very attached to the dog. I lost my chihuahua (I know, world of difference in breeds lol) in October and I got the husky for my husband. I love him but I dont have a great connection with him and he spends all his time with my hubby. I have fallen in love with this dobe and he sticks to me like velcro and comforts me so much when Im feeling lonely or im all emotional due to those fun pregnancy hormones so the though of getting rid of him is heart wrenching to be honest. I want to do whats best though so I guess I am at a crossroad.

alexa4249's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-06

Update: We decided while my son was asleep to let both dogs in the livingroom with us to see  how they would do. To our surprise, all they did was play. Yes they did do some typical male dominance stuff but they played non stop for 40 mins straight. There was no growling, no aggression, just rough housing and tail wagging. My husband had them both sit and then lay down and wait for a treat andf they did great at that together. They were both responding great to us if we told them to calm down or to quit being so rough and they did fantastic! I dont know if it is just false hope on my part that they can get along but it was a good sign. Still taking your opinions very seriously and anymore advice is great. Thanks!!

WNCDobes's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-28

I wish I could find something positive to say about the future of your situation.  I commend you for getting im out of the situation he was in.  I've had Dobermans for almost thirty years and work with a rescue group as a foster home, so I know a little bit about the breed and bringing new dogs into a home.  I totally understand how you could fall in love with this dog, but I can't emphasize that what Lady Kate and Kim have already said is to be taken very seriously.

They may be OK today and one be a bloody mess tomorrow.  It takes more than one person to break up a dog fight.  If you or your husband are by themselves when the bomb goes off, you're going to have a really big problem.  I can paint some scenarios and none of them end well.

Yes, its possible for a male Doberman to get on with another male.  I've had it happen, but not under the circumstances you're describing.

Please, before anybody gets hurt, find a reputable Doberman rescue and rehome him.  

DJ's Dad's picture
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My suggestion would be the same as already given by others:  rehome him to a good dober-loving home with no other male dogs.  Even though they seem to be getting along together for 40 minute intervals, and the dobe seems to be very easy going with your 2 yr old, I wouldnt want to take a chance in the two dogs deciding to tangle, possibly while you or a family member happened to be in their path....see what I mean?  If there are specific circumstances (one dog leashed/one not, or baby gates up to separate them) and they are not 100% predictable, then you really dont know how either one of them will react to the other one at any given time.  Too risky, if you ask me.  My sister in law has two male dobermans---littermates---that she has had since they were born.  They are almost 10 years old now, and she has had to keep them separated ever since they were almost 2 years old.  It's hard on the dogs and on every member of her family just to maintain peace with both dogs.  Not fair to anyone, really.  But she loves them and has been willing to do whatever she has to do for 8 years now, just to keep both dogs.

There are a lot of dobermans that need rescued, possibly you could find a female that has a sweet passive disposition to live with your male husky and little ones.  Just a thought.

tess's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-28

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Please listen to the advise given. This will not end well. I can 100% guarantee it. I know your heart is in the right place but you need to think with your brain. Your husky is NO match for your dobe. That's just a fact . It takes one second for a glance to provoke an attack from a dog that is already prone to male on male aggression. I currently have a two yr old male, fixed and am grateful beyond belief that mine doesn't have these tendencies. You see I also have a dominant rat terrier male and he's no match for my dobe either. I knew of the male on male aggression when I got my dobe as a puppy and worked vigorously to make sure it wouldn't be an issue . My point is the dye has been cast with your rescue so now you need to put your husky before your dobe and rehome him with a rescue organization . Only a rescue organization will do. 

Just because this situation hasn't worked out, don't give up. Take care of your growing family and later on rescue again. Trust me, Dobermans are worth the wait. Good luck and God bless you for trying to give a better life to a Doberman .

 

 

Tess

alexa4249's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-06

I just want to say thank you for the time and responses you all gave me. I did relinquish the dog and you all were right, he became increasingly aggressive to my dog, tried to eat my cat and then was becoming aggressive towards my two year old son. I feel very lucky nothing happened and everyone is ok. I do love the breed and have always wanted one but would definitely rather go with a pup I raise. Thanks again!

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Thank God all of you are all right!

Hang around, and when you get your pupper, everyone here will be thrilled for you! (And psst! Get a little GIRL.) 

(And thanks for rescuing him. I hope he finds a good home!)

alexa4249's picture
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Joined: 2014-07-06

I will definitely be back on here once I do get a pup. And yes I plan on getting a female, Ive always had female dogs and seem to prefer females. But thats just me. :) Thanks again!!