Brothers who fight

6 replies [Last post]
jerryholstein's picture
Joined: 2013-07-05

Hi, I'm Jerry and I am looking for some advice.
I am presently working in Ghana in West Africa, and a friend of my got posted back to the US and needed a home for his 2 Doberman brothers, who are Swiss bred and 4-1/2 years old. They are basically very good dogs, with a basic level of training. They are friendly, loving and very good guard dogs. I have had them about 3 months, and they have settled well at my house, but…. They fight each other. When I say fight I mean serious fights. I have had leg injuries, cuts on their faces, neck bites all sorts. I have had to have the vet out to patch them back up. These fights are not once in a while but a daily thing, which ranges from growling and showing of teeth to full on.
I am unsure on the way forward to stop this. I am thinking it might be a dominance thing. I am trying to arrange a dog walker to run them every day. I have advertised them for stud work, in case frustration is part of the problem. I really don’t want to castrate them unless this will grantee a stop to the problem. The other option I have considered is splitting them up, by finding a home for the one whom seems to be the instigator, but I am worried that as they have been together since birth, what affect this will have on them. If I did this I do have a third much younger dog, who gets on very well with the dog I would keep.
Any tips or advice is much appreciated.

elisabooth's picture
Joined: 2013-03-14

Pet Profiles

I think splitting them up would be the best course of action for everyone involved.  Look up Same-Sex Agression in relation to Dobermans.  It's common for this to happen.  So to make everyone happier, and healthier, splitting them up seems the only course of action.  

I know others will chime in as well.  

Good luck!


Atticus's picture
Joined: 2012-05-18

Pet Profiles

No question in my mind here. I'd be looking for a good, loving home for one of the brothers. What a sad life to fight with your brother every day. I don't think there is much you can do to stop them, but to separate them by the sound of it.

DJ's Dad's picture
Joined: 2010-10-04

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My sister in law has two doberman brothers that are almost 10 yrs old now, she's had them since her female had the litter they were born in--so she's had them their entire lives.  They started fighting each other when they were around 2 yrs old, and the fierceness of the aggressions just kept escalating.  So she has had to keep them separated for the past 8 years.  Any time they are in the same room together, they get that 'look' and they will go at each other, for no reason at all.  Not a very happy life for the dogs or for my sister in law's family, if you ask me.

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

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Such a sad thing, and I am so sorry you're going through this.. However, it WILL get worse. There will come a day when you won't be able to stop the fight and one or both will be severely damaged or dead. Sounds dramatic, I know, but same sex aggression in Dobermans ( particularly males) is a very real and very devastating problem.

Your only recourse is to find another home for one of them and give the other a long and happy life with you.

I also hope you will reconsider studding out your males. I'm not going to go into Back Yard Breeding, health testing, and all the etcs.involved with why this is wrong,.. you have enough on your hands right now and I'm sure there will be someone who will chime in with the reasons why this is not a good idea.. but good luck and let us know what happens..



Mrs.Hadlock's picture
Joined: 2013-04-25

Pet Profiles

We have two male litter mate's approaching 2 years old. Both are neutered.  The aggression is terrible. I can't imagine prime age intact males. We allow our dogs to run together in the morning for an hour or two then rotate them the rest of the day in and out of kennels and the house. It's turned intoa pretty elaborate lifestyle managing male littermates but I'ma housewife and do have the ability to make it work.. And at times that's just what it is.. a couple fights was alli neededt to realize we cannot buy raw hides or play all together.. I first noticed severe aggression when my dogs were pretty young..3 or 4 months old and got a Stern group of people urging me on this forum to re home one.. is still working for us and the dogs are happy to visit andi believe grateful for their alone time too. 

Good luck

Oz Dobe's picture
Joined: 2014-03-25

Sorry to hear about this situation, but I agree with all above me. It was inevitable that this was going to happen. So many issues are involve and especially at this age, there is no unscrambling the egg. The safest course of action for you and your dogs is to split them up. They will still need plenty of work after the split too, so dont expect it solve all your problems, but you have no chance if you dont split them up. Its very sad, but you have to make the best of a bad situation.

All the best.