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by Invictusk9 on 22 February 2018 - 03:02

Will two dominant working line gsd males ever live together without constant fear of physical altercation?
I own two males currently, both are 2.5 years old and both are Patrol dogs , they’re very dominant in character with one being over the top dog aggressive and insist on exerting dominance everywhere and at all times( constant marking and eye contact with other dogs and trying to engage them regardless of any correction )They have been in a few very nasty scraps and it’s gotten ugly being both dogs are young males in 100 pound range. now they’re always separated at all cost , they seem to tolerate each other in a Nuetral setting like hiking in the middle of nowhere ( I would never risk taking them anywhere else ) as long as there’s no toys or Iam not giving one attention over the other . They make zero eye contact with each other and seem to respect each others boundaries and don’t come into physical contact with one another and maintain space .
They seem to be somewhat more tolerant of each other lately and I’ve even muzzled both and let them loose in the yard or the house to get these guys used to being around each other but they avoid each other like The plague and seem uncomfortable even as far as they will
Lay down in separate parts of the house/yard because neither wants to get hurt again but i just don’t trust them together . Is this how it’s gotta be or there’s hope that maybe these guys will become a pack ? Thanks in advance


by Hundmutter on 22 February 2018 - 05:02

This is only too often a problem with trying to keep two dogs of the same sex, similar age and weight, together in the same household; and one reason why sensible breeders resist selling two pups together from one litter. [The other reason is that sometimes, especially a mixed-gender pair, they will become so fond of each others' company they become difficult to train]. The breed is irrelevant. The bloodline is irrelevant. (NB They do not HAVE to be brothers). Only individual temperament matters. If one dog is dominant and the other truly accepts that, often they can live in peace despite being 'genetic rivals' (especially when entire).

Dogs are bad enough; when two bitches get like this it is frequently 'to the death'. May never happen, the two may always be best buddies; but when there is a clash, it takes a very dedicated owner with time on their hands to keep all the living accomodation, exercise, etc separate to ensure no fighting. And despite their insistence on buying two together 'to be company for one another', as often as not Joe Public cannot successfully manage this and at least one of the pair ends up being sold or in a rescue shelter. Or one (or both) spends almost their entire lives close-kennelled or in crates.

While one would normally be happy with dogs that just did not take any notice of each other, sounds to me like with your boys no 'pecking order' has been settled between them - and they are a time-bomb waiting to go off. That is my impression without being able to see them interacting. I think you might be waiting a very long time for them to 'become a pack'. Maybe in their old age - can you wait for half a dozen years or more ?

The fact that they have already hurt each other worries me; many handlers who post here will tell you that they are so 'alpha' to the dogs in their keeping that all misbehaviour can be turned off instantly, the dogs valuing their owner more than they value scrapping amongst themselves. This however takes considerable experience and skill with dogs. For those who do not have this, the stress of keeping dogs who seriously do not like each other constantly separated, and making sure nobody gets in the middle and hurt (do you have kids ?) is too great. JMO.



by Hundmutter on 22 February 2018 - 05:02

PS This could surprise you, but it is often the dog who the owner assesses as the 'over the top' one, which ends up as the lower-ranking of the two, if they do eventually get it settled between them.

And for the general readership, I don't want to make it sound as though two entire dogs cannot ever live in peace & harmony, even real friendship. I have known breeders for example who kept two or more active Stud dogs living together, quite happily. But they did not start fighting in the first instance.

by hexe on 22 February 2018 - 06:02

They've already shown you that they've got conflict: I'd suggest you take them at their word. Usually it's more common to have this issue between two females, but it can happen with males, too, and, well...that's what you've got on your hands.

That's not to say you can't keep both--you just have to be vigilant. If they can co-exist in the same space while both are muzzled, great--but I wouldn't count on them ever doing so with the muzzles off. It's not worth the vet bills to stitch one or both up, and it's DEFINITELY not worth the life of one or both, either.

by Centurian on 22 February 2018 - 13:02

Good advice from all of the above.

Part of the difficulty that arises comes from TV programs that give the impression , how all the dogs can live in peace and harmony . Aside from the fact that I have had 12 GS live completely in pack in harmony no problem ,and I acknowledge that most often it is the people that cause the dog problems , I write this :

Although the GS is a pack animal ... sometimes you just can't fight mother nature [ no matter what this or that , TV trainer says and does] . That simple. So , if the dogs are at odds and are ready , willing and will do damage to each other , don'y try to be a hero and make thew dogs what they are not [ companions , friends ] . They will no be , that simple. they will always fight for their desired resources !

If this is to hard to understand or to accept and you do not heed heed what the previous posters have stated , then contemplate this :

People don't always live in peace , nor can you make them . So , why would someone choose to think that THEY CAN , make a dogs agreeable pack member to one another when one perceives the other as a nemesis [ opponent ]. Please , don't let emotion clutter your logic ........

by Nans gsd on 22 February 2018 - 18:02

I would listen to the dogs; and say YES it will always probably be untrustworthy to try to run them together. At least that has been my past experience. Sorry. Nan

by Sunsilver on 22 February 2018 - 18:02

A friend of mine had two stud dogs that began to have issues. Her husband turned them out together one night, and didn't bother to supervise them.

The larger dog killed the smaller one. I was there when it happened, and will never forget seeing that poor dog's body, and her crying over it, heartbroken.

I wouldn't take the risk. The fact they avoid each other when outside speaks volumes to me.

by 8lu3d09 on 22 February 2018 - 20:02

We always had GS bitches in my family and they all got on without a problem. When I was 16 I had a rescue GSD bitch and I purchased a GSD puppy bitch. When the pup became an adult they suddenly hated each other. Had to break up a few fights, two bitches can fight to the death.

We had to divide their compound and sleeping quarters to keep them apart. They seemed fine and would lie next to each other on opposite sides of the fence. I went to clean the kennels and one of the bitches got passed me into other kennel and big fight. My father and I separated them.

I walked them both together with no problem but one day whilst off lead they fought again but I foolishly got my hand in the way and and felt their teeth clamp down, I screamed and they stopped but I had to walk home with puncture marks in my hand and praying they would not have another fight.

After that they were both muzzled when out but even then they fought. In the end it was separate walks and we rotated their visits into the house.

There will be days when you are convinced that it is all behind them but trust me, it is not.

Best of luck.


by BlackthornGSD on 23 February 2018 - 00:02

I'm totally surprised you can have the two together on hikes. If they are 2.5 now, I predict this will not be an option in another 6 months, as they continue to mature.


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