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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm new to the forum & this is my first post.
I have 4 dogs.

1. Labrador Retriever (dog, 3 years 3 months)
2. German Shepherd (bitch, 2 years)
3. Labrador Retriever (bitch, 1 year 10 months)
4. Doberman Pinscher (dog, 5 months)

I bought everyone home when they were approximately 45 days old.

From the past 2 months, my bitches are fighting very violently. If there is no one to pull them apart, they will fight to death. This behaviour has been happening almost twice a month.

During the fight, males either pair up with random females or don't interfere at all. They never fight each other.

In the past, there were few small fights that happened only during feeding time when some tries to take others food.

This aggression problem started after I bought by male Doberman puppy, who is 5 months old now. He runs around & bites everyone & everything. So I thought he must be playing. None of the dogs react even if the puppy bites them too.

Today, half an hour back, there was such a violent fight, but the male Doberman puppy was violent too & was trying to mount on the female Labrador. At the same time, the other dogs were attacking this female Labrador.

I haven't got any puppies from any of my bitches & last heat cycle I noticed. was on March 2015 for both the females. I've never seen my oldest male Labrador trying to mate with either of the bitches till now.

I'm worried why the bitches fight like this. Is it something related to mating rights or anything like that?
 

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1. Neuter and spay them
2. Provide them with lots and lots and LOTS of exercise
3. Give them jobs that occupy their brains and their bodies
4. Manage them so that they are not in situations that will likely trigger fights (like feeding separately).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wasn't exactly the reply I was hoping to get prefer rehoming the youngest Doberman puppy than my other dogs as there is more emotional attachment with them. Also, this behaviour started after bringing the Doberman puppy.
 

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Many might disagree since I subscribe to a pack mentality among canines which exist in a shared home/environment. My intact bitch in her home and yard exhibited over the top aggressive behavior to a friend's intact bitch when they would come over. There were 4-5 dogs total but my bitch singled out the other bitch and the game/fight/position challenging was on. She is fine with the other dogs but it took my intervention to create peace amongst the two bitches. I enforced rules of conduct which my bitch had to adhere to and the moment she crossed the line, she was reprimanded appropriately. You define the rules of behavior and run the show not the dogs. I personally believe once you have established the proper boundaries regarding conduct and civility it will allow your dogs to assume a position which will take great pressure off of them and their peaceful coexistence will come to be. Does this mean, if you are not present they will not spar? I wouldn't assume so and management on your behalf will be integral.
 

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Many might disagree since I subscribe to a pack mentality among canines which exist in a shared home/environment. My intact bitch in her home and yard exhibited over the top aggressive behavior to a friend's intact bitch when they would come over. There were 4-5 dogs total but my bitch singled out the other bitch and the game/fight/position challenging was on. She is fine with the other dogs but it took my intervention to create peace amongst the two bitches. I enforced rules of conduct which my bitch had to adhere to and the moment she crossed the line, she was reprimanded appropriately. You define the rules of behavior and run the show not the dogs. I personally believe once you have established the proper boundaries regarding conduct and civility it will allow your dogs to assume a position which will take great pressure off of them and their peaceful coexistence will come to be. Does this mean, if you are not present they will not spar? I wouldn't assume so and management on your behalf will be integral.
I actually agree with a lot of this because it's how I've always managed my dogs. I'm pretty sure if I didn't set and enforce expectations for how they will coexist with one another, there would've been instances of aggression and resource guarding, etc. But I don't tolerate it. They know this, and it sure makes things simple. My oldest dog, for instance, is getting some supplements for his arthritis, and he hates them so I have to disguise them in some canned food. I feed this to him right in the kitchen with my other two dogs present, and it's obvious they want what he's getting, but if the approach he doesn't even so much as growl because he knows I'll handle it. All I have to do is say the other dog's name and it's over. Treats, chews, meals, etc. are all given to all three dogs at the same time while they're sitting/standing right beside each other. Sometimes I let two dogs "wash" a dish of scraps/gravy/whatever together and they never growl or care. It's just understood that I'M the one who controls who gets what in this household and they don't even need to worry about it.
My main reason for suggesting spaying is that I worry about the temptation to breed intact females for the wrong reasons. I have neighbors who've contributed goodness knows how many puppies to the overpopulation of dogs on this planet because they were hoping there might be "money in dogs".
 

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A few things...

1) Spaying will NOT help. It's total misinformation being spread when people say that spaying will eliminate female-on-female aggression. Studies actually show the contrary...Spaying INCREASES female-on-female aggression, and sometimes aggression in general towards all dogs. Estrogen seems to help stabilize the temperament. At this point, until these behavior issues are under control, I would actually suggest not spaying either of them unless you absolutely have to to avoid pregnancy. Or consider a hormone saving alternative, like an ovary sparing spay. Then the dog can keep the hormones, but it eliminates the chance of pregnancy and pyometra. I would not let these dogs breed. Especially that 5 month old puppy.. You may also want to consider neutering the males instead, or doing a vasectomy.

2) Yes, a multiple dog household can sort of "pack up", especially when they're close in age. It's not really about a hierarchy or mating rights or anything like that. It's more just a form of chaos and lack of control, and bad habits multiplying and rubbing off on each other. Older dogs do in a way help to raise a new pup in the family. You've been adding pups when your next oldest dogs are basically still juveniles or in our world, teenagers. Though technically considered adults, they are still very inexperienced, very impressionable and not usually fully trained and proofed with good habits. Which means they can slip into bad habits easily, develop bad habits from the new puppy, the new puppy learns bad habits from them....You ultimately have less control over them and the more dogs there are, the worse it can get. They will get over aroused more easily, which leads to fights. I don't like to add a new pup until my youngest dog is at LEAST 3 or 4. My current groups ages are 13, 9 and 4. There are zero fighting issues.

My advice, personally, would be to start doing a crate and rotate routine and keep them mostly separated. Separate potty breaks, separate feeding, separate sleeping, separate walks. Work really hard with each one individually on basic obedience and some foundational stuff like mat work, recall, and impulse control. Then start working with them in pairs. Have one dog be on the mat while you work with the other and vice versa. Work with them together. Work with different pairs at a time. Then as you make progress and you notice your dogs paying more attention to you than each other, go to 3 dogs at a time. And finally 4. Don't rush. It'll be a long slow process.

Rehoming is also another possibility. I don't think it would be wrong to see if you can return the doberman puppy back to the breeder, that way you can focus on your 3 older dogs and regaining peace.
 
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