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Old 12-10-2012, 12:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The problem with multiple females living in the same home is they often decide to hate each other and once that happens, they will fight. Female fights are more than just loud scuffles. They mean it and the fights are serious. Even if everyone gets along initially (perhaps for months, or even a year or more), it can seem like they woke up one day and decided to kill each other. And they never stop trying to kill each other.
Thanks again to everyone for all of the information here. You all are obviously experts in this area!

I'll reply in more detail later -- I'm at work now -- but I wanted to follow up on the female fighting issue. Does it make a difference if they are all spayed? How common is this problem?

Growing up, I never owned female dogs, so this is new to me. It's interesting, because the neighbors actually have a female dog that absolutely hates our girls. As in, she will see them from a block away and absolutely flip out, snarling and barking and growling. Once she got off the leash and came after our girls, and bit one hard enough to hang on when I lifted my girl completely off the street (although luckily there was no serious damage, just some bleeding). I don't know whether that is the same issue.

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Old 12-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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It can help if they are all spayed, you won't have heats and moody dogs to deal with but if they do end up hating each other, it won't go away.

It would probably be best if you adopted a male for that reason, but if the girls do okay with each other, at least don't leave them alone for the 8 + hrs. you are away.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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As far as mixes being more or less energetic than a GSD, you won't really know! Like sit, stay said generalizations are helpful but not predictive. I have mixes with more energy than some GSDs.

For the females, nothing, including spaying, takes away the "femaleness" that will create the problems in terms of fighting. These things include being fine for days, weeks or years and then all of a sudden an intolerance of monumental proportions erupts, the desire to permanently remove the other female from the home for good, the inability on our parts to redirect or change that behavior using anything but crate/rotate type management of true 100% separation.

I worked in an all boys school, then worked in an almost all girls school. The boys would get into a fight, I could step in, tell them to knock it off and by the time they got to the office to talk about what happened they were goofing around again. If the girls got into a fight, it lasted forever and we would sometimes have to change their schedules so that they didn't have classes (particularly low supervision opportunity classes like PE) together anymore. I never looked into the science of the why, but have found dogs to be similar.

I have multiple females, all spayed - which I do believe helps, living in the house together, and have 2 that require some supervision or need to be kept separate if I am working at home. They have a VERY weird relationship because they seem to enjoy picking at each other and do not seem to want to go above a certain level of snark. But with 5 girls I watch them closely and they aren't allowed to go all "middle school" on me.

However, I never leave more than 2 of any dog out uncrated, unsupervised if I am gone no matter what, and typically crate them all.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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If you had to ask if she'd eat your current dogs.. then I don't think she is for you.
GSDs tend to be rowdy players, she'll probably sound or look like shes going to eat them but its most likely her play style.. but if you're already on edge about it then it wouldn't be fun.

Your house will have 3 females in it ? Well.. I'd advise against that.. but I dont know the dogs, either.

& do you really take your dogs for 5 minute walks ? it takes ~20 minutes to walk a mile, so 1/4 = 5 minutes?

for a gsd PUPPY she'll need atleast an hour of walking.. tbh if you guys are working 10 hours a day each I would advise against it. adopting an older dog (3+ years) would be better as they won't be as demanding with training / exercise.

my gsd was about 50 - 60lb at 9 months old, still filling out in the 90lb range at almost 3 years.
I agree 100%. I am mostly worried about the 3 females issue. I have two small older dogs and WD who is 10 months old, is pretty rowdy but I knew what I signed up for. Dogs are my passion, I am a trainer so I don't mind 24/7 management until he is older or the oldies passed, whatever comes first. Living with two Cavaliers is probably easy and calm for you, that will change with this dog depending on what she is mixed with, but then you still have three females. I would start looking for a smaller male dog that has some GSD features. (Do extensive intros))
Thanks for asking and thinking ahead.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My pack contains 3 females with two being intact. The two intact bitches (my Cresteds) get along fine and don't fight. The spayed bitch, a Corgi mix, is the alpha bitch and all respect her.

The problem with having all females is that if they DO decide not to get along you either have to keep them separated for life or rehome someone.

If you are ok with the possibility of keeping them separated ALL THE TIME then having all females is not a problem.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #26 (permalink)
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-- I'm at work now -- but I wanted to follow up on the female fighting issue. Does it make a difference if they are all spayed? How common is this problem?
In my experience it doesn't seem to make much of a difference if they are spayed or not. I have fostered females that were spayed at 6 months, and they were same sex aggressive. I have had females that were spayed at 9 years old and they were okay with other females. I have had intact girls here, and never saw a problem. You can't count on spaying to alleviate the issue and you can't point to being intact as the reason why it happens. At least, that has been my experience living and working with many dogs over the years.

My Aussie doesn't like other females. She is reasonably good out in the community, in that she won't lose her mind at the sight of another female. But she will not comfortably share her living space with another girl. I can't foster females because of it.

I do think that the German Shepherd Dog seems to be more prone to same sex aggression, compared to some other breeds. But it can happen in any dog, of any breed or mix.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I apologize for not reading everyone's posts, I scanned through and do agree with much of what is being said.

I have three female dogs (a lab, a poodle and a great dane). They're all adults, and very mellow and get along well with each other.
The GSD's I've had before, I don't think this situation would have worked. But that's just my experience.

I agree that 10 minutes, twice a day, will not be enough exercise for this dog, puppy or not. She's going to require a good bit of exercise, or you may find she becomes bored, anxious and destructive.

GSD's are a completely different experience than Cavalier's... and it's been my experience that you're either a GSD person, or you're not.
If it's at all possible, please consider giving her a try for a week or so, and see how it works... make sure you're going to be okay with coming home at lunch and walking her, and spending more time walking in the mornings and evenings.
The last thing you want to do is "think" you'll be okay with it and then it not work out.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Unless they're in ill health, my senior dogs have always required more than 10 minutes of exercise a couple times a day and the younger guys require a lot lot more than that. I agree a dog walking/running service might help. The word bitch is one of the most honest words in the English language ... yes some bitches get along famously, but if you have two who don't get along, they can, and sometimes will, fight to the death vs the males who will almost always fight for domenience.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
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if you have two who don't get along, they can, and sometimes will, fight to the death vs the males who will almost always fight for domenience.
Yep, males fight for hierarchy and females fight to drive the other out.
I have a 20 lb female dog but never will I add a female as long as she is around. Adding males is not a problem.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #30 (permalink)
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just to throw this in, i have a female gsd, 2 female jrts and one male airedale. all is fine.
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