Agression problem between two brothers - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Agression problem between two brothers

Hey guys, I have 2 pups from the same liter, both males, Shadow (70 lbs) and Guiness (74 lbs) and they're 6 and a half months old. The problems seem to be when someone is laying on the floor with one of them and the other walks past the one who is laying with the person will give a growl and within seconds its a full blown fight between the 2 of them. At first Guiness was the only one doing this but within the past 2-3 weeks Shadow has begun to do this also. When they do this we put them down until they are submissive but it doesnt seem to stop it from happening again. If a friend comes in the house also and is petting 1 over the other they have fought due to that as well. Also Guiness is very food aggressive towards "unclaimed" food. The 2 dogs eat nose to nose with their bowls right next to each other with no problems. They don't try to eat the others food and there is zero aggression. However if there is food left out EX. food shopping and a bag is left on the floor with the scent of food Guiness will protect that item and attack the other dogs as they walk by. (I also have a 12 year old pit mix 60 lbs. also a male) We know what triggers their fights and try to stop it before it gets to a full blown fight but sometimes you're not always able to stop it in time. Any training tricks/suggestions?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:19 AM
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first of all welcome to the list .
all right then, enough of that , down to business.
getting two dogs , especially the same gender, from one litter , is a recipe for problems , and a recipe for a less than satisfactory human to dog bond and relationship.
two GSD that are competitive and not compatible , initiating fights and a senior pit mix -- sounds to be like an open canister of fuel and the lit match falling through the air about to connect and then - bam .

young dogs need discipline , which is not putting them down till they submit. You see that does not work. The issue with being competitive with each other is not about you . That dynamic is between the two dogs .
You are lying down with the dog and then acting like a dog and I would watch that they don't put you in the middle.
and I would watch out that the pit doesn't get suckered in and you have a three or four way bloody fight that you can't control physically and can't control at all because it is in a heated emotional state with dogs in a different unreachable zone determined to win.

solution - choose one of the male pups and find a great home for the other

enroll in some obedience class . Become the leader . Discipline is what gives security and harmony which any group living being , humans, dogs, horses thrive in . Discipline is not bootstrap follow orders. It is a guide to what is expected , what is rewarding , what will be redirected.

at the moment it sounds like you have a pack of dogs living in a house and you are a member, it is their house , while it should be you have a home that you share with your dogs .

so the discussion begins
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:26 AM
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I fully support what Carm is saying. You're new here, so you don't have any knowledge of some of the members.

Carm is very experienced in dog ownership, from puppies to old dogs, and knows what she is talking about!

The ONLY thing I would say if you don't want to give one up ... quit your day job so you can be around to train both of them INDIVIDUALLY and then together. Because keeping these two together HAPPILY is going to be a full time job in and of itself.

I really can't add anything else.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:56 AM
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I would have to second Carmspack and add in that this isn't a simple training issue. You have two males, the same age that are now competing with each other over resources. This isn't something that a basic obedience class will fix overnight... I would suggest keeping them separated unless they are leashed with separate people handling them. Also, are they neutered?


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 11:00 AM
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I would never sell two pups from one litter to a person . I tell them see me later, in a year or two. Better for the person, better for the dog.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:42 PM
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The problems with owning littermates, especially same-sex littermates, are so common that it has a name: Littermate Syndrome. You are just now beginning to understand why it's a bad idea to take 2 pups from the same litter, or any 2 same-sex dogs close in age.

Honestly, I hate to tell you this, but it's going to get worse. Much worse.

I second everything Carmen says, including her recommendation to re-home one of the pups. I know it sounds harsh, but believe me... life will be SO much easier and better for everyone--you, the dogs, and your family.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 PM
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Rehome one of the pups. Keep the one that your old gets along best with.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 01:58 PM
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Agree with Carmen - hard to hear this i know. People get two pups the same age thinking that they will be bonded and have a playmate to meet their needs, but that is human think - in dog think, it can go two ways, and neither is of benefit to the dog:

Either they do bond so closely that the humans are in the background and have no meaning/authority/relationship with the dogs,

or, more commonely,

The other dog is seen as competition for resources and status and must be eliminated.

Very bad situation to be in.

The two littermate issues are so common that we have a section linking articles discussing the pitfalls and extra effort needed to raise littermates:

Should I get TWO puppies/dogs at once?


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:15 PM
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I have two brothers, born here. They absolutely hate each other.

For me, I think it is unfair to "make" one dog be subordinate to the other, so Anik is my husband's and Ari is mine, one has the den and the other one the living room, one the front yard and the other the back.
It is a ton of work.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:38 PM
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Growing up, my grandparents had to brothers, Bucky & Lightning. I remember them being together when I was really young then they started fighting and my grandmother separated them. After that they couldn't be near each other.
While they are still young it would be best to rehome one of them.

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