my 2 male pups fighting

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ruby11's picture
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If anyone can help me i would be very grateful,i have 2 male puppies that i kept from my litter,well they are now 9mths and they have become very agressive towards each other,but only when they are outside their pen. my vet cannot understand why this is,could it be jelously and fighting for my attention. they have to sleep together and when walking they have to be side by side it is nearly impossible to keep them apart as they get very stressed to be back with each other again,as you can understand i am very worried and upset as i hate to see them hurt each other(there has been a few war wounds,me included). please please someone give me some good advise as i really am worried what will happen next

DJ's Dad's picture
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Are they neutered?  My sister in law kept brothers from a litter she had, and they did the same thing.  They loved each other and would play with each other, but every once in a while, they would just trigger each other off and the fight was ON.  They drew blood on each other and occasionally on my sister in law and her husband when they would try to break up the fight.  It was horrble.  They had to keep them separated all the time by the time they were a year old, because it got so bad.  She finally had them both neutered, and even though it calmed them down a bit, they still will growl and give each other the stink eye if there is ANYTHING to compete over....food, toy, affection, whatever.  Two males together, un-neutered is not a good combination.  I can only suggest that you try your best to keep them separated, and be aware and alert every single moment that they might start to fight.  Watch their body language.  Get a water squirt bottle.  See a dog behaviorist or trainer.  It wont just go away by itself...you will definitely need to do some heavy-duty training with them now.

Lady Kate's picture
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It's going to be a tough road ahead..Ziva's Dad is right.. you have to be one step ahead of them.. Body language says everything Good luck..

reading your profile.. what's a carer??

Love the avatar you posted.. which one are we looking at??

Is there more details you can give?

Welcome to the forum, and stay tuned, I'm sure there's a lot more suggestions headed your way

To start with male Dobermans are notorious of being male dog aggressive. This is why no reputable breeder will sell a male to a home that has a male neutered or not. The fact you have 2 littermates makes it worse. It is never advised to keep or buy littermates together.

I know of a show breeder recently that had 2 males that she kept separated all the time. They were crated and never let out together. One accidentally got out they got in a fight that no one could break up and they were both put to sleep due to their injuries. I can give you many more stories just like this one that support this.

You can train and socialize all you want, you can neuter but the bottom line is you have a ticking time bomb on your hands. I don't mean to be harsh but if I were you I would be worried. They will only get worse with time.

My advice while not what you want to probably hear is to neuter both dogs keep one and find a good home for the other.

Good luck with your situation it will not be easy no matter what you decide to do.

Livelaughlove1's picture
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I recently went through this exact situation with two females that I brought home because I have a soft spot and at the time, the extra money.  They were not kept seperate in teh previous environment and although I began training, sleeping, playing, eating, and walking sperately the fighting continued.  They were drawing blood on eachotehr at 10 week and I wanted desperately to keep them together but I made teh descision to keep one and find a home for the other. 

The lil girl we kept has blossomed with her personality and all of her scrapes and cuts are healing up perfectly.  I will see is I can find teh links that were suggested to me for research but if you google raising littermates you will find alot of information that is helpful.. Starting ASAP seperate them from sleeping together before it gets worse because if they are already injuring eachother and you, imagine how bad it can get when they get bigger. 

I wish you the best of luck..

Dober kisses from the LLL Dober Gang

unityspirit's picture
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Think male teenagers and hormones!! LOL 

ruby11's picture
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to answer,i really have a hard time ahead,we did not set out to keep 2 males from the litter,it was actually a bitch we wanted but because the little man Lurcan (means little warrior)was very poorly when he was born we grew a strong bond from the start as i had to hand rear him,so the thought of parting with him was not an option. my husband and me went to England with 6 of the puppies,when we returned we had 7 e-mails looking for the last pup,they all came from England but nobody wanted to meet me half way so we had no choice but keep him,his name is Springsteen.  Sofia thank you for your reply, my job is caring for my sister in law, and the photo i put up is my beautiful Ruby the mum of the 2 loopers that is giving the problems.

blue4's picture
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I don't have much advice, but I encourage you to find an option that is best for the boys, even if it is parting with one of them...

Welcome and sorry you have such a hard situation.

ruby11's picture
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Hi Ziva yes they have just been neutered,and are wearing the dreaded lampshades,this is making them worse. they use to run around the garden with their mum and play until about a month ago things started to change,but nothing to bad,the last week has been hell,we kept the 2 of them apart to let them recover,but they were still able to see each other through the bars,that didnt last long as springsteen caught on if he went through backwards he could push through to lurcan and then pull his bed through. i dont know if the lampshades are causing some frustration because i cant even take the 2 of them out together now on their leads because they just go for each other.

Lady Kate's picture
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Ruby 11, ( my lucky  number BTW) You sound like such a lovely lady. I am just so sorry to hear of your  plight..I was reading your profile and see that you're in Ireland.. What is the rescue facilities like there? I know how the Brits love their dogs, maybe you can find one who will foster Springstein as the situation will only escalate and I have to agree with RnD.. it could be a ticking time bomb,.

You have Ruby, the sweet Mum, your little Warrior Lurcan, your sister in law who needs you and probably a bunch of other things you didn't even detail..So this might be a necessary act of kindness that will hurt like hell, but be a benefit in the long run .You've been the best of mums so far, now it might be time to do the "tough love' thing. The longer you wait, the harder it's going to be both on you and your dogs.. Please look into one of the Doberman Rescues in your area..I am certainly no expert on Male Agression, but it seems to be your only option

Keep in touch and let us know,.. We're here with prayers and support

Kate

ruby11's picture
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Kate thank you so much for your kind words,im in tears just at the thought of having to part with any of my beautiful dogs they are my family and i love them so much. i dont know if we have a rescue for doberman here,if it came to the crunch i would ask my brother inlaw to take springsteen,as i know he would love and care for him,but to be honest if it means we end up totally broke i think my hubby will build 2 kennels for them,maybe when i have them out playing i could keep muzzles on at least they cant hurt each other

unityspirit's picture
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My vet told me years ago just cause you fix a male dont mean that they are instantly male free if you know what I mean. it takes a while for there hormones to level out. I actually had a fixed male that bred our boxer once totally to the point that she went through false pregnancy even. Her breasts ballooned up and she would gather her toys and put them in her bed with her thinking she was pregnant. My vet jokinly said "what are you feeding your dogs? He had been fixed over a year though is whats weird about it. I see a lot of dogs placed in new homes at around 8 months when they go through this hormonal tazmanian stage. I had some females also that were sisters and after I bred 2 of them they became aggressive with the other females. I know how homones affect you Im menopausal. I am a bear sometimes. LOL 

What you are describing is typical male Doberman temperament towards other males. This is not anything that you can help with training or neutering. This is a natural reaction within the male Doberman. Hormones or not you will always have this problem. I would say it is a VERY SMALL percentage of owners that are able to keep 2 males together. The older they get the harder it becomes. I know this is hard for most of you Doberman people to understand but try for those of you that live in the US calling some of the breeders on the DPCA website (which represents the most reputable breeders) and ask if they would sell a male puppy into a home with another male and why not. Your breeders that are respectable and know the breed well would never do this for very good reasons.

I know it is very hard parting with our beloved animals. I've to make decisions placing older puppies myself and find it heart wrenching, but I know that the decision is what is best for the dog and our family.

You have to ask yourself is it fair to both dogs not to be a part of the family and to be kept separate, sometimes this causes more anxiety between them.

KevinK's picture
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Like rnd said, this is not a training problem.  Your ONLY solution if you're going to keep both, is to keep them separated 100% of the time, at all times.  You will then have to figure out how to divide your time between the 2 so they both get enough attention, training, and play time.  If this is not an option, I would look into a rescue asap while they are still young and will be easy to find a good home.

DJ's Dad's picture
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I used my sister in law as an example, and her 2 male littermates are now 5 years old (maybe 6) and she STILL has to keep them separated.  One is locked in a room while the other is with the family in the living room, then they switch places with them.  Or one is inside and one is outside, but rarely do they ever allow them in the same room together, and when they do, someone has to constantly watch these two males, because they will fight at the drop of a hat.  It puts a hardship not only on my sister in law and her family, but also on the dogs. (they are not her only dobermans, but they are the ones that have to be kept apart)  Her husband has a horrible scar down one of his arms and on the back of his hand where one...or mabye both...dogs got him while they were after each other and he was trying to get them separated.  It's just not any circumstance that I can imagine anyone would WANT to be in, ever.  I hope you get your problem resolved.  Much luck in whatever you decide to do.

KevinK's picture
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How did this litter come about, was it a planned litter, or accidental?

ruby11's picture
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the litter was planned and every thing was done correctly,we did not just breed our dog and see what happened,i lost my job as a result of the pups as i wanted to give my bitch and her new pups all the care and attention they needed,i have my dog 5 years this year and we took a long time to decide on breeding her,but with alot of time,care and love from the breeder we got her from it was all done to the best of our ability,so i did not do it light hearted and would never put my dog at the risk of being an accident.

Livelaughlove1's picture
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Ruby , I understand how much this descision is weighing on your mind and I hope that nomatter what you decide that you know we are all pulling fo rthe best option for your family and your Dobes.. I lucked out and was able to find another home for Star where she can still come visit and i get email updates..

Much Love the LLL Dober Gang

ruby11's picture
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thank you for your kind thoughts,sometimes i feel like i am being judged or being looked on as a bad mum to my dogs because i dont want to lose one,but i will do what works for my family and the dogs well being will be top priority,it is nice to know that people are out there to help or just listen to me complaining about my boys lol

ruby11's picture
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thank you for your help i will keep posted on any news

DJ's Dad's picture
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Please, dont feel that anyone is "judging" you---it's just that we would love to help you avoid serious trouble if at all possible.  My sister in law would not have even entertained the thought of getting rid of one of her males, and like I said, she still has them both, but it puts a tremendous amount of stress on her and her whole family.

ruby11's picture
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yes i know and you have all been so kind,i will keep posted on how things are going,they must know i have been talking about them as they were on their best behavior

KevinK's picture
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Male on male aggression is extremely common in dobermans, I'm surprised your breeder never mentioned it.  I don't think anyone was judging you or anything though, at least not in this thread.  Seems like everyone gave some pretty good advice.

Just to emphasize, if you're going to re-home one, I would do it sooner rather than later, even though it will no doubt be so difficult for you.  This will not get better, it will only get worse the more you have them.  What you have been seeing is NOTHING compared to what will happen once they start to mature.  I would consider yourself lucky that this started while they are still young, and there are still options.  If this happened a few years down the road, it would be much, much harder to not only rehome an older doberman, but also harder as the family would be even more emotionally attached.

Also, be warned, they may "seem" like they're getting along, and being best buds.  But they need to be 100% separated starting immediately.  The last thing you want is a dead pup, or an injured family member.  A fight can explode out of nowhere, with zero indication.  Seen this happen way too many times, and the outcome is never pretty.

ruby11's picture
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hi Kevin yes my breeder had told me if at all possible not to be keeping 2 male pups but as i said earlier we had no other choice it was keep the 2 or leave one to God knows what,she had warned me of such problems but we had no other choice. i would be much happier keeping them apart all their lives and keep them,at least i know that they are being loved and cared for,as i said they are our family and we have plenty of room,i know that we will have a serious amount of work and stress ahead but im prepared for that,it is good to know the feed back as we now know that we cannot let them be together again.thank you for your time and help

ruby11's picture
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Hi just a update on my 2 little men,we have kept them apart all the time and things are alot quieter and stress free,my hubby has done a great job of dividing Rubys room into 3 sections so that the dogs can still see each other but unable to make contact, thankfully we have worked out how to train,play with the boys so that we can give the same attention to them. Ruby is great with them so i am able to take her and one of the boys out to walk while my hubby takes the other boy. the three of them are able to stay in our home now without any fear of them fighting,and during the day they have now got their own pen and run when we are away,so hopefully things will continue to go ok and thank you all again for your support and kindness

DJ's Dad's picture
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@ Ruby--an amazing job of making things work.  Kudos to you.

ruby11's picture
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Ziva it is with thanks to you and everyone else for the advice,fingers crossed it continues to go well

Lady Kate's picture
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That's wonderful news.. With that kind of dedication and determination,... it's GOT to work

Best of everything.. please stay in touch

ruby11's picture
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thank you kate will stay posted hopefully with some good stories in the future