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Owning multiple potentially DA breeds

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Ellie

Qui me amat,- amet et canem- meum
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 2:17pm PST 
What are people's thoughts on this?

Say you have a pittie you know to be good with other dogs and decide you want a bullmastiff puppy? No DA may show up for a couple of years. Maybe the bullmastiff is one now and you decide you want another?

If you adopt an older dog you can usually get a good sense of their doggy issues before hand and if you go the puppy route you can socialize like crazy, but is that enough in your mind?
Do you feel like its an ok risk with training and socialization?
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Arkane

1278377
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 3:28pm PST 
As long as you get them from a good breeder and know the parents do not have issues then that is good enough for me.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 7:59pm PST 
I'd say it depends on whether you're willing to deal with it if the dog does end up DA. As I understand it, socializing a puppy of a breed that tends to be DA only goes so far. You can socialize the snot out of some puppies, and still end up with a DA/SSA dog when it matures. So for that reason, it's generally safer to go with an adult with a well known temperament than a puppy, even a puppy from good breeding. I think the scenario of having a one year old Bullmastiff and getting a second as a puppy is pretty risky, since at one year the first dog isn't even mature yet.

Like anything, it depends on how much risk you're willing to take. If you're willing to live with dogs that need to be separated or constantly under close supervision should problems arise down the road, then sure. If not, better to reduce your risk by sticking to adults known to be good with other dogs, or getting a breed that isn't as likely to become DA. At the very least, if one plans to get a breed prone to DA and wants a puppy, I would do as Arkane said and specifically look for a breeder who breeds for dog friendly dogs. I wouldn't trust socialization alone with a puppy of a DA breed.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 8:51pm PST 
Breeds have big influence. Infamous ones like Bull Terriers or Kerry Blues, no breeder worth their salt is going to make promises. The parents angle doesn't matter, a breeder with a gamillion years of experience still gets surprised.

I researched Giants really heavily before getting onto the breed because I really needed a dog that raised right could avoid DA, and I did feel he was far more of a striking candidate, vs a Kerry Blue, which is a huge heart throb breed for me but I know not predictable. If they get it in their head, it's just done.

For my Giants, both have ended up the same. Fine with other dogs in the home (i.e., fosters), would never think of answering a fearful dog, but with a dominant challenge, they'd still be good to go. So I have essentially addressed every one of the concerns save for the pivotal one....if it's a challenge for strength and brawn testing, they wouldn't back down. I did have them trained so that in street situations they are well under control, but I couldn't have a dominant breed in a house with a Giant, like let's say an American Bulldog.

That's really easy to manage. I have Cocker Spaniels laugh out loud Any bully I have is small....Dachshund and Maltese, Tiller isn't going to take those seriously. Growling mommas....fine. That's all conditioning work....dogs who have good centers, good raising, and know the difference between a legitimate challenge and not. Both of mine have totally changed character, though, when around a confident, big male throwing the evil eye with a puffed up frame. No amount of work would sway them if a competitor was questioning who they are. Then it's back to "you can take the lion out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the lion." Difference between kicking sand and a legitimate challenge.

Kerry Blues are insane. The sheer sense of wrath they can display, totally different story. Bull Terriers are a lot the same. It's know the breed, and keeping that realistic, understanding the motive and working with that. Some breeds, though, it's just too much to expect. Expect the best, be prepared for the worst.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 7:59am PST 
I think that as long as you have done your homework, and are prepared for the worst, go for it. I have a multitude of poorly bred GSDs, so DA/SSA are always a concern. I am always careful, none of my dogs are ever left unsupervised together and I am mindful on outings.
With some breeds I don't know that I would risk it, as Tiller mentioned. I'm not sure why someone would want to. Dog management gets old, really quick. I do crate and rotate, for other reasons, with my gang and there are days when I wish I had catslaugh out loud
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Sonny Jim

Franks say that- I'm BACK IN- BLACK!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 11:29am PST 
It depends on what you are prepared for. I knew nothing about the possibilities of having a DA neutered male and a DA spayed female who would fight. The DA male is a Pit/Lab mix -- his DA may come from both breed and his early life as a puppy on a chain, then abandonment by the first family who "saved" him. We got him at 1 1/2 years and promptly had him neutered. He has no problems with the intact male Golden in our home nor the new neutered Toller/Golden we have recently rescued. Sonny is basically less DA and much more Dog Tolerant to dogs outside the home offleash after a lot of socialization and training. He can be called off any growling. The second dog, Kado, is of course a mix of two breeds known for DA. She was taken from her litter at 5 weeks old, raised and ignored by teenagers, not socialized nor housetrained nor trained, and came to me at 5 1/2 months. After spaying she began to exhibit DA behaviors, primarily on leash, toward stranger dogs. With much socialization she has become both Dog Tolerant and Dog Friendly. She is also less wary of people -- she has always been good with children, as has Sonny. She interacts well with my intact male Golden--he actually raised her and taught her bite inhibition through playing, and my neutered Toller/Golden.

The problem is with Sonny and Kado. Every 6 months, they have a massive fight. This is started by Kado. Then Sonny latches onto Kado, usually to an ear, and is incredibly difficult to remove, almost impossible, although she has already let go. After the fight, she is terrified and hides under the bed, often defecating.

We have crated and rotated, especially when not home, or left one dog in the fenced yard and the other inside, when the weather is nice, or taken one dog in the car. But management is HORRIBLE in my opinion, and almost impossible.
Others certainly differ. People are human, and humans make mistakes.

What has helped in our situation is to read Kado's signals. She has two very obvious times when she begins a fight with Sonny. The first is when she gets the "hard eye" -- like a Border Collie -- at him -- then she will continue to snark and worse. So at any sign of hard eye, she is crated. The other time she reacts badly is when we have ANY visitor to our home. She wants ALL the attention at the door, and her excitement redirects into aggression. So she is always crated when a visitor comes to the door, and usually calms down within 20 minutes. She readily crates for us, as we give her a bone or Kong.

I NEVER expected this. I knew nothing about the propensity for DA in these breeds. I did not know she was a cattle dog, this only came out later as she grew up, as she was not spotted and later her herding behavior presented itself very strongly. I have wanted to rehome one of these two dogs, especially her, as she is probably more adoptable, but my bf will not allow me to.

I had heard of SSA among bitches but was completely and utterly shocked by this. It causes me massive anxiety. That is not the experience I seek from dogs. i have been able to work with the DA outside the home but inside the home is just about too much for me to bear. It's heartbreaking. In the yard, they are the best of friends, playing together more than any of my dogs do.
I don't mind dealing with my timid dog, the Toller mix, who has some problems with men but is gradually improving and gaining confidence.

Be prepared well is all I say. I would really choose adult dogs with proven temperaments. I don't think complete socialization is the key in some breeds, but I can't say if it would have helped in mine. Any more pits or pit mixes I rescue will be older and extensively fostered and dog tested as will any cattle dog or cattle dog mixes.

I'm sorry to come off so strongly. JMHO
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 11:56am PST 
Sadly, even the proven adults, at least in MY experience, can go wrong!!! My problem has been two dogs that only hate each other... both are fine with others of the same sex or of opposite sex.
One was raised by me from puppy hood. The other was brought in as a 6 year old from a situation when she was kept with a large group of dogs of both sexes, no issues at all.
The first one was about 4 - 5 when the second came. It was fine for several months, then it was impossible... they were fighting to kill, not just to intimidate.
I have had this happen with Labradors and poodles and French bulldogs. The first two are not at all known for SSA, but the Frenchies certainly ARE!
Knowing what I know now, there is no way, no how I would ever attempt to keep two SSA dogs together, even if they were the ONLY dogs I had, nor could I ever recommend it to anyone.
Sure, someone will always come along who has kept two with no problems, but the majority WILL have issues and the vet bills alone get crazy, not to mention the pita of crate and rotate. Until BOTH dogs are mature, there most often is no indication of any future problems so it is even more of a shock when it happens.
It drives me CRAZY when people have two of these breeds together and are bragging about how they are so great and it's all about how you train them and all that, and then they tell you the they are both still under two years of age. Okay, come back in a couple of years and tell me how great it is now!!!
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Arkane

1278377
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 1:40pm PST 
Toto you're going to get me all anxious about Arkane growing up now. silenced
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 1:53pm PST 
I have Giants and Cockers laugh out loud

I have kept GSDs and Giants together in past, but I do agree with the bragging part. Tiller's breeder tends to only muck around with perfect, pet meant temperament, my second GSD was selectively purchased with potential issues in mind (third litter from his parent match, and they'd owned that stud for eight years, an iconic temperament sire, tons of full and half siblings to review). My first GSD, though, I was just flat out ignorant and lucky wink Tiller is a lot more of a twit than Onion was. I think he would have set my first GSD off. Onion was a saint and his GSD brother (both were full males for quite some time) was the most haplessly social GSD I have ever known in my life. Onion raised him, though, and he was always willing to be the Abbott to Onion's Costello (dated reference, lol!) Not sure how much that raising pattern had to do with it, would defer to Toto, particularly on the GSD end. They were a match, though. Best buddies from first glance. Most dogs tried to hump Philo though....he was ten thousands miles removed from having any sort of political opinion wink That's where research gets you, though! Needed to be sure the GSD had no dominant streak, and that surely was Philo.

Edited by author Wed Jan 30, '13 2:07pm PST

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 2:06pm PST 
Neuter and keep one eye on them both at all times!!!! Seriously, I never have had issues with my boys...AFTER they were neutered. Prior to that they would either fight or be fine, no in the middle with them. I only ever had issues with two mini poodles, Toto, who LOVES ALL dogs (except one time, years ago, he snapped at a golden PUPPY???) and Thomas, an elderly unneutered rescue mini who were sharing my bed and it was fine until Thomas had been here about a month... he then decided that Toto would sleep at the foot of the bed, Toto said no, and from that point on the war was on... finally, Thomas went to our boarding kennel to live when I kept letting them out together. I wasn't paying attention several times and they both got let outside together. They were okay out there UNTIL they saw me, then were gonna fight. I finally realized if I just opened the door and let ONE in, it was fine.
ALL my male labs lived together, unneutered and all were stud dogs as well. They NEVER had any issues BUT... I also let them work out the small stuff on their own. They were crated for feeding and if they had special treats like RMB's.
And, while I only ever had one male GSD at once, they were able to live with the male labs as well as the male poodles with NO issues at all. The male Frenchies NEVER were allowed with any other males, EXCEPT, I have just integrated a 10 year old unneutered male Frenchie into my house crew. He is okay so far, but insistent on humping one of my male cresteds (neutered) which isn't going over very well. There is one poodle with them that isn't neutered but he's never been a problem with ANY other dog so some of it is that he isn't gonna challenge! It's been about a month, so I think it's gonna be okay but I NEVER let him with them if I am not right there!!!
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